Bristol-based life sciences and tech hub Future Space has welcomed medical diagnostics company Vitamica as a new resident.

Just over a year old, the spin-out from the University of Bristol is developing a novel diagnostic technology to test pathogenic bacteria for susceptibility to antibiotics within just one hour.

Last month, Vitamica joined the innovation hub located within the University Enterprise Zone (UEZ) at the heart of the main UWE Bristol Campus to use the dedicated laboratory space on offer at the centre to continue its research and testing.

The company is working to address the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among infectious bacteria with its rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) technology which is set to transform the way clinicians make decisions on antibiotic prescription.

Vitamica’s rapid AST is based on Sub-Cellular Fluctuation Imaging (SCFI), an imaging technique recently developed at the University of Bristol through research led by Dr Massimo Antognozzi. SCFI can detect the effect of antibiotics on individual bacteria and indicate in a matter of seconds whether the cells are still alive.

In recognition of the company’s innovative efforts towards positive change and tackling global challenges, Vitamica has recently been shortlisted for the Global Good Award in the LAUNCH: Great West Awards which is taking place on 6 June to celebrate the successes of scientific companies in the South West.

Commenting on the company’s move to Future Space, chief technology officer Charlotte Bermingham said: “The shared laboratories at Future Space met Vitamica’s needs perfectly – they are well equipped and we could start work without any delay.

“We’re thrilled to have joined the community to continue our testing and research to demonstrate the capability of this technology in fighting AMR, as well as to take advantage of the additional support on offer at Future Space for early-stage companies like ours.”

Martin Reid, Future Space centre director, said: “Having another University of Bristol spin-out company join the community is testament to the facilities we have here at Future Space and it’s great to have Vitamica using our laboratories to conduct its revolutionary testing.

“Beyond the high-spec lab facilities, Future Space offers Vitamica the opportunity to make itself known in the Bristol life sciences sector, to develop its commercial identity and to work with the Health Tech Hub, co-located within the UEZ.

“We’re excited to see what the future holds for Vitamica.”

Future Space offers a range of office space, shared and dedicated laboratories, workshops and coworking facilities designed specifically for such high-tech, science-based start-up and growing companies.

Submitted on 22/05/2019