December 2023, Southampton, UK

£1 million Innovate UK grant for early lung cancer diagnostic test research

Highfield Diagnostics are excited to announce that they are part of a consortium that has just received a £1 million grant from Innovate UK to develop a new rapid diagnostic kit that detects early stage lung cancer. HDx will utilise flowDx multiplexing technology to develop a 6-channel Lateral Flow Test for lung cancer-specific biomarkers.

Lung cancer affects almost 50,000 people a year in the UK, kills more people than any other cancer and costs the NHS more than £2.4bn annually. Diagnosis of the disease in the early stages is challenging, since clinical symptoms only occur if the tumour is very large or has spread outside the lung. Surgery is only possible in about one in eight people, with the vast majority offered treatments to alleviate their incurable disease.

The scientists aim to develop a test to quickly identify people most likely to benefit from scanning.

The work is part of a partnership between UK companies Life Science Group, Highfield Diagnostics, ProTEM Services and Valley Diagnostics along with Hywel Dda University Health Board and Aberystwyth University.

The new funding from Innovate UK, will mean the team can apply the lung cancer biomarker research from Aberystwyth University to develop a new multiplex test kit that could identify cancer biomarkers – the tiny signature chemicals - present in urine.

The six biomarkers can diagnose lung cancer with 90% accuracy and at very early stages, before the onset of clinical symptoms.

Professor Luis Mur from Aberystwyth University commented:

“This new funding is a big boost to the work of the team. Lung cancer has a devastating impact on so many people and their loved ones. The team here have already identified biomarkers in urine that can diagnose a number of other cancers and diseases. It can also identify what stage the disease has reached in a patient.  We hope that this important collaboration can apply the world-leading research here in Aberystwyth and make a real difference.

“We hope that by continuing to work in partnership we can develop a range of these novel diagnostic tests over the years ahead. Our aim is that they will diagnose and monitor the progression, location and efficacy of a large variety of diseases and cancers. We are looking forward to these leading to rapid, cost-effective and accurate diagnosis of a number of conditions both in GP surgeries and at home.”

Jenny Murray, Managing Director of Life Science Group and Project Lead said:

“We’re proud to be part of this consortium of independent companies in the UK developing this technology for the benefit of the UK. This pioneering work has the potential to revolutionise diagnostic testing here in the UK and globally, particularly in countries where the availability of diagnostic centres is limited.

“The team are confident that this device, and the others that will follow, will not only save lives, but demonstrate significant savings in the NHS, redevelop the diagnostic pathway and generate employment in Wales and revenue for the UK as a whole”.

Professor Rob Eason from Highfield Diagnostics said:

“We are really excited to apply our flowDx technology in this very important field of lung cancer which we are sure will bring enormous benefits to both the patients and the NHS. Early diagnosis especially in cancer is of paramount importance and Lateral Flow Tests have been proven to cost-effectively screen large  populations. Lateral Flow technology is now very familiar and readily acceptable to everyone due to the recent COVID pandemic so adopting this form of diagnostic test for lung cancer is a natural step forward. Testing for six biomarkers in one go, rather than just one is a really innovative step forward, and we are very grateful to Innovate UK for the chance to work with this consortium to bring our technological advances to the next stage.’’

The test, which is at an early stage of development, would be designed to be easy to use and adopt the lateral flow method that became familiar during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The collaboration between Welsh academics, UK commercial partners and several hospitals in Wales has received the new funding from Innovate UK’s Advancing Precision Medicine programme, including funding from the Office of Life Sciences.The partners also aim produce the diagnostic kits at scale in a new facility in south Wales.


Further Information:

Rob Eason, Director, Highfield Diagnostics [email protected]

Highfield Diagnostics
Established in 2017, and as a spinout from University of Southampton, UK in 2021, with more than 50 years of academic and practical experience, Highfield Diagnostics has dedicated itself to creating the best solution in point-of-care diagnostics. Highfield Diagnostics has developed flowDx, a laser-based manufacturing technology utilised on Lateral Flow Tests and other life science devices. flowDx can enhance Lateral Flow Tests by increasing their sensitivity and decreasing their limit of detection, as well as allowing for multiplexing and semi-quantification of the results. Highfield Diagnostics is helping partners in the UK and abroad to enhance their diagnostic devices while also working on proprietary Lateral Flow Tests for a range of diseases such as Tuberculosis.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is creating a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations.

It provides targeted sectors with expertise, facilities and funding to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth. Join its network and communities of innovators to realise the potential of your ideas and accelerate business growth.

About Office for Life Sciences

The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) is a joint unit between the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. OLS exists to improve the health and wealth of the nation by growing a resilient and innovative life sciences sector in the UK, and by bringing new technologies and treatments into the NHS to transform healthcare.

OLS funding for the Advancing Precision Medicine programme is provided as part of the UK Government’s Life Science Cancer Mission. The Cancer Mission aims to make the UK a leading testbed for oncology innovation by accelerating the development and commercialisation of a new generation of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, allowing patients to be diagnosed earlier and offered therapies specifically designed to target their cancer.

October 2023, Kolar, India

Highfield Diagnostics Establishes Vital Partnership in the Fight Against Tuberculosis

Highfield Diagnostics has taken a substantial step forward in the battle against Tuberculosis (TB). Over the past year, the company has been diligently developing a pioneering triage test for TB, a disease of global concern with millions of deaths and tens of millions of patients every year.

Preliminary results, utilizing patient samples from the University Hospital of Southampton, have shown promising outcomes, fuelling the need to take this innovative solution to regions heavily affected by TB, where eradication efforts are in full swing. Among these regions, India stands out as a country profoundly impacted by TB and firmly dedicated to its eradication.

Highfield Diagnostics is thrilled to announce a key collaboration with the team of Prof Prabhakar and Dr Anitha, Principal and distinguished researchers at the Sri Devraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research in Kolar, a semi-urban area located just outside Bengaluru, India. Dr Anitha's expertise and generous contribution of an extensive range of clinical samples have been instrumental in furthering the development of Highfield's prototype TB lateral flow test.

During our visit in October, Prof Prabhakar facilitated this collaborative work and Dr Anitha managed and assisted this collaboration. Highfield Diagnostics had the privilege of working closely with Dr. Anitha and her exceptional team within their state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratory. This collaborative effort resulted in highly promising findings that will assist the refinement of our prototype, leading us towards a final product. This innovative product is set to revolutionize the screening process for large populations of TB-suspected patients in India and beyond.

Highfield Diagnostics is also pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research. This agreement solidifies a long-term partnership, assuring a continuous collaboration between the two organizations. Highfield Diagnostics looks forward to returning to India in the near future to further bolster this groundbreaking initiative.

Highfield Diagnostics is committed to the global fight against Tuberculosis and is dedicated to providing cutting-edge solutions that improve the lives of those affected by this debilitating disease. We believe that this collaboration represents a significant stride towards a TB-free world.

October 2023, Hangzhou, China

Highfield Diagnostics' Hi-Sense Technology Sparks Interest Among Chinese Lateral Flow Test Developers

Highfield Diagnostics (HDx) is making waves in the realm of lateral flow tests with its innovative hi-sens technology, drawing widespread interest from multiple Chinese test developers and manufacturers.

The cutting-edge hi-sens technology has caught the attention of key players in the industry, leading HDx to collaborate with leading manufacturers to demonstrate and validate the application of hi-sens in enhancing the performance of their existing products. This collaboration extends to both colloid gold-based and fluorescent lateral flow test products.

These forward-thinking manufacturers recognize the immense potential of hi-sens technology as an opportunity to significantly elevate test performance without incurring substantial additional costs. This strategic advantage positions them to stand out in a competitive market.

Highfield Diagnostics is proud to be at the forefront of driving innovation in lateral flow testing, providing solutions that not only improve performance but also empower manufacturers to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

28 July 2022, Portsmouth, UK

Highfield Diagnostics' Participation at Open Day for New SCIENION UK Facilities showcases the Future of Lateral Flow Device Technology

Highfield Diagnostics Ltd. showcased its flowDx technology platform at Scienion's Open Day event on the 28th July 2022 at Lakeside North Harbour, Portsmouth's leading workspace.

Highfield was invited to the event by Scienion, which follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies which envisions close cooperation between Highfield and Scienion in the development and implementation of mass manufacturing processes for Highfield's flowDx platform.

flowDx allows precise control of fluidic flows in an LFT, enabling capabilities including parallel multiplexing, enhanced sensitivity and semi-quantitative results.

Prof Robert Eason, director of Highfield, said: "We are extremely excited to be part of this important event marking the growth of Scienion's manufacturing capabilities here in the UK, and we look forward to our work together going forward."

Dr Collin Sones, CEO of Highfield, added: "Scienion's commitment to partnership within the diagnostics and life sciences community is driven by their vision and leadership.  I am looking forward to the possibilities that will be generated by our work with Scienion."

We were also delighted to meet and discuss our technology with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and the Lady Mayoress, Councillor Canon Dr Hugh Mason and Ms Marie Costa.

Dr Andrew Sweet, MD at Scienion said:

"At Scienion we are in the business of enabling, inspiring and educating scientists to develop their research ideas into fully manufactured product. This is an incredibly exciting time for our business. We are confident that SCIENION will continue to grow rapidly and that our new facility at Lakeside will support us in achieving this."

For more information about the event, please visit:


Founded over 20 years ago in Berlin, Germany, continued growth has led the life sciences and medical diagnostics manufacturer to expand its facilities across Europe, including the UK and the U.S.

SCIENION's technology has been used to manufacture millions of diagnostic devices per year. Notably, its equipment contributed to the global effort to manage the COVID-19 health crisis, used to manufacture PCR and antibody tests. The company has forged a number of significant collaborations to advance science and healthcare, including with Highfield Diagnostics Ltd to incorporate their next generation technology in lateral flow test (LFT) design for the development and deployment of equipment to mass manufacture LFTs.

The lettings deal follows the Government's recent additional pledge of £60 million to expand life sciences manufacturing in the UK following the country's contribution to the worldwide COVID-19 vaccine rollout..

SCIENION relocated its UK facility from Chichester to Lakeside following a period of rapid growth, joining a diverse collection of existing occupiers already benefiting from Lakeside's modern facilities, unique surroundings and vibrant community, including IBM, Virgin Media, Capita and Markerstudy Broking. Scienion employs more than 350 scientific, manufacturing and support staff.

SCIENION is part of BICO, the leading bio convergence company in the world that provides technologies, products and services to create the future of health.Contact SCIENION
Volmerstraße 7b
D-12489 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 - 6392 1700
[email protected]
www.scienion.comPR Contact SCIENION
Almut Gebhard
Phone +49 (0)30 - 6120 1081
Mobile +49 (0)174 3017754
Email [email protected]

5 July 2022, Southampton, UK and Berlin, Germany

Highfield Diagnostics Ltd (HDx) and SCIENION GmbH have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The MoU lays out the framework of the cooperation, which will include utilization of SCIENION's world-class design and manufacturing capabilities to finalize equipment designs and manufacturing processes for the cost-effective and high throughput production of flowDx enabled LFTs.

flowDx allows precise control of fluidic flows in a LFT, enabling capabilities including parallel multiplexing, enhanced accuracy, and semi-quantitative results.

This pioneering technology is the result of more than seven years of academic research, conducted mainly via funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) - one of the world's leading institutes for photonics research at the University of Southampton.

Dr Julian Kirby, Business Development Manager at SCIENION UK, said: "HDx's flowDx technology represents a generational leap forward in lateral flow device design. We are excited about the potential of working with HDx to scale this technology and bring these next generation devices to mass production."

flowDx has enormous potential for broad, large-scale application within the LFT market, which has recently seen dramatic expansion and public acceptance as COVID-19 rapid tests have taken on an important role in pandemic management.

Dr Collin Sones, CTO of Highfield Diagnostics Ltd, said: "SCIENION is a world-leading manufacturer for LFT equipment with their ability for precision dispensing, and this is exactly what we require for the large-scale manufacture of our bespoke devices. During the work that we have done together to date, the SCIENION team have impressed us deeply with their technical brilliance and culture of innovation. With our collaboration, we look forward to further crediting SCIENION's sterling reputation and market leadership.  We are especially excited about SCIENION's in-house high volume LFT production capacity and leveraging that capacity for HDx products."

flowDx technology has been developed to be low cost and easy to incorporate into large-scale manufacture of LFTs. "We believe that with SCIENION, we will be able to achieve a cost impact of less than one penny per test while maintaining existing manufacturing speeds," Prof Robert Eason, Director of HDx, said.

HDx will utilize flowDx in partnership with global diagnostics companies and with the University of Southampton's Faculty of Medicine to develop proprietary, point-of-care diagnostic solutions to address the most urgent and challenging problems in global health.


Founded in 2001, SCIENION is a renowned specialist in ultra-low volume precision liquid handling in the pico-liter to micro-liter range, enabling applications from research to high-throughput production of assays in diagnostics and life sciences. Addressing the dynamically increasing needs for miniaturization and multiplex analyses, SCIENION is an ISO 9001:2015 certified complete solution provider offering a unique portfolio of automated precision dispensing systems, readers, consumables, assay development and contract manufacturing services. The company operates from two sites in Germany, Berlin and Dortmund, and has subsidiaries in Phoenix, Arizona (USA), Chichester (UK), and Lyon (France). The French subsidiary Cellenion offers solutions for single cell analyses, e.g. with the single cell dispenser cellenONE and products such as cellenCHIP and proteoCHIP for omics-based applications.

SCIENION is part of BICO, the leading bio convergence company in the world that provides technologies, products and services to create the future of health.Contact SCIENION
Volmerstraße 7b
D-12489 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 - 6392 1700
[email protected]
www.scienion.comPR Contact SCIENION
Almut Gebhard
Phone +49 (0)30 - 6120 1081
Mobile +49 (0)174 3017754
Email [email protected]

About Highfield Diagnostics Ltd

Highfield Diagnostics (HDx) is a spin-out from the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre and is poised to create the next generation of rapid point-of-care diagnostics using its pioneering, patented technology. The HDx team has over 25 years of academic and practical experience and works with clinical teams and diagnostics manufacturers around the world to research, design and develop laser-patterned, precision paper-based diagnostics.Contact HDx
Highfield Diagnostics Ltd
White Building Studios,
1-4 Cumberland Place,
Southampton, UK, SO15 2NP
Phone: +30 (0)7922049464
[email protected]

11 November 2021 Southampton

Another collaboration between Highfield Diagnostics Ltd and the University of Southampton leads to a new publication. We have used flowDx technology to develop a novel flow-through filter-based assay for the detection of CRP. The assay works by filtering particles and by size exclusion to detect of c-reactive protein in a completely new way.

We have just published this latest work in Talanta, follow the link to read the full article:

11 November 2021 Southampton

Another collaboration between Highfield Diagnostics Ltd and the University of Southampton leads to a new publication. We have used flowDx technology to develop a novel flow-through filter-based assay for the detection of CRP. The assay works by filtering particles and by size exclusion to detect of c-reactive protein in a completely new way.

We have just published this latest work in Talanta, follow the link to read the full article:

29 October 2021 Southampton

Highfield Diagnostics Ltd, in partnership with the University of Southampton have developed a multiplexed and semi-quantitative lateral flow test for pneumonia triage and antibiotic administration. The test is manufactured with flowDx technology and is based on antibody detection of c-reactive protein and procalcitonin.

We have just published this latest work in Talanta, follow the link to read the full article:

Highfield Diagnostics Ltd spins out and secures initial funding from Verge HealthTech

New spin-out venture from the University of Southampton is set to unleash the next generation of lateral flow diagnostics

13 April 2021 Southampton

Highfield Diagnostics Ltd (HDx) has developed a disruptive, patented technology, within the University of Southampton and is set to unleash the next generation of lateral flow, point-of-care diagnostics.

The pioneering technology is the result of more than seven years of academic research, conducted mainly via funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) - one of the world's leading institutes for photonics research at the University of Southampton.

HDx celebrates the spin out milestone and looks forward to a swift transition from research proof-of-principle to full commercial readiness, supported by the Ambershore Group and initial funding by Verge HealthTech Fund.

Sir David Payne, Director of the ORC, says, "Laser technology is used across a vast range of scientific and technical disciplines - from the global internet, to advanced manufacturing, imaging and metrology. The HDx team has applied decades of accumulated experience in using lasers, to modify conventional materials - such as metals, glass and crystals - to power a new wave of precision laser-defined, paper-based diagnostics."

The HDx founding team includes Professor Robert Eason, Dr. Collin Sones, Dr. Peijun He and Dr. Ioannis Katis. HDx technology has enormous potential for broad, large-scale application within the £5.8 billion lateral flow device market.

Dr Collin Sones says, "The spin out of HDx is taking place at a critical moment. The COVID-19 pandemic shines a light on the need for reliable, low-cost and rapid, point-of-care testing, but current lateral flow devices fall short in addressing this need".

"HDx techniques have the ability to transform lateral flow testing - providing multiplexed and semi-quantitative measurement of disease-related biomarkers - with higher sensitivity and a lower limit of detection, using multiple isolated flow paths within a single lateral flow device," adds Dr. Sones.

Dr. Peijun He says, "Research trials using the patented HDx high-sensitivity improvement method, provide early evidence of broad-based commercial application. We have already been able to achieve a signal enhancement of up to 240 percent and an 800 percent improvement in the lower limit-of-detection. In the months ahead we will continue to refine this data to support future commercial collaborations."

HDx will partner with global diagnostics companies to explore and innovate new applications of its technology and with the University of Southampton's Faculty of Medicine to develop a portfolio of proprietary, point-of-care diagnostic solutions that utilize its core technology. These solutions will address many of the most difficult global health challenges we face, including COVID-19, leishmaniasis, dementia, sepsis, UTIs, AMR, tuberculosis, allergy and asthma.

The HDx founding team is joined by a world-class bench of advisors with clinical and diagnostics industry expertise and has entered into a collaboration with Ambershore Group to accelerate commercialization of its core technology and development of early applications.

Amber Curry Gracia, Partner at Ambershore Group says, "HDx technology strategically targets the shortcomings inherent in the current state of lateral flow devices. This superior approach has the potential to unlock a wave of innovation and open new markets, charting a path for lateral flow to capture a greater share of the £61 billion in-vitro diagnostics market."

An initial pre-seed investment by Verge HealthTech Fund will support the transition from research to commercial readiness and finalization of the go-to-market plan in advance of a seed-stage funding round later this year.

Dr. Joseph Mocanu, Managing Partner of Verge HealthTech Fund says, "Readerless, multiplexed, semi-quantitative, and radically affordable point-of-care diagnostic tests will be critical to preventing illness and managing the health of billions around the world, especially those without proper access to healthcare infrastructure. We see HDx as a key enabler of this vision and we are excited to work with them on their long journey ahead."

The spin-out process was managed by Diana Galpin and David Woolley of Research and Innovation Services (RIS) at the University of Southampton and Zee Zhu of Ambershore Group.

Diana Galpin, Director of Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange at Research and Innovation Services says, "It is great to see HDx successfully spinout following the recent commercialisation support from Ambershore Group. HDx and the founders have been on a journey with support from RIS, the ICURe Programme and investment from EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA). HDx is a promising company, and its platform technology is poised to make a real difference in diagnostic testing and create jobs in the region. We look forward to HDx's continued success."

About Ambershore Group

Ambershore Group is a US-based venture development firm that accelerates growth and improves readiness for investment by tackling key governance, operational and commercial challenges. Our portfolio includes companies operating from five continents in education, health, environment and transformative technologies.

For more information:

About Verge HealthTech

Verge HealthTech Fund is the world's first seed-only healthcare technology VC fund that is investing globally in solutions relevant to expanding access, quality, and efficiency in emerging Asia. To date, Verge has invested in 12 early-stage startups, spanning early Alzheimer's detection, lung disease, hearing loss, continuous care, rural health delivery, mental health and wellness and point-of-care diagnostics.

For more information:

About the University of Southampton

The University of Southampton drives original thinking, turns knowledge into action and impact, and creates solutions to the world's challenges. We are among the top 100 institutions globally (QS World University Rankings 2021). Our academics are leaders in their fields, forging links with high-profile international businesses and organisations, and inspiring a 22,000-strong community of exceptional students, from over 135 countries worldwide. Through our high-quality education, the University helps students on a journey of discovery to realise their potential and join our global network of over 200,000 alumni.

For more information: [email protected]