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Drug testing firm wins £2m investment

13th March 2012 - Intelligent Fingerprinting, a UK-based company that has developed a unique technology for the simultaneous detection of personal identity and contact with illicit substances from fingerprints has just raised £2m in funding from a consortium of private US-based investors.


The deal follows the recent announcement of the company’s prototype fingerprint drug-testing device – the first of its kind in the world. The investment will allow the unique product, which detects illegal drugs from the sweat in fingerprints, to be marketed worldwide.


Highly specific antibodies are used to detect the metabolites of drugs in situ in less than 10 minutes. Heroin, cocaine and cannabis use can be detected, along with other substances such as nicotine.


Intelligent Fingerprinting Ltd. is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA).


The innovative technique was developed within UEA’s School of Chemistry under the guidance of Intelligent Fingerprinting founder, Professor David Russell.


Commenting on the recent investment, Professor Russell said: "This investment comes at a crucial time for the Company as our ground breaking technology enters the next commercial phase. This is particularly important given the response by potential customers to our technology."


Intelligent Fingerprinting chief executive Dr Jerry Walker added: "We have been overwhelmed by the market response to our innovative technology. This investment will enable us to accelerate its introduction."


Based at the Norwich Research Park, Intelligent Fingerprinting was founded at the University of East Anglia in 2009. There has already been worldwide interest in its technology for a wide range of applications - from testing employees are ‘fit for duty’, to screening drivers at the roadside for drug use.


The hand-held device uses disposable cartridges. Samples are quick and easy to collect, require no specialist handling or biohazard precautions, have in-built chain of evidence continuity, and are almost impossible to cheat.


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