Sprout company sets sights on international spotlight

Last year was a big year for Sprout alumni, Koru Diagnostics - but their sights are firmly set on their exciting year ahead.

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Koru Diagnostics is a diagnostic company producing fast, accurate and cost-effective diagnostics for the animal health market.  It is a merger of Pinpoint Diagnostics, a 2016/17 Sprout cohort company, and PB Diagnostics, another Palmerston North-based biotechnology business.

After seeing the potential in the IP and science team behind Pinpoint, the Sprout team identified key management and investor support to give the business the platform it needed for commercial success. 

Rhys McKinlay, CEO took some time to chat with us about what he has been up to since their last update in 2018.

What are three key business highlights since completing Sprout?

In 2018, we successfully raised $915k in angel investment, in an oversubscribed seed round.  We will soon have filed our third provisional patent application to protect our products in the market.   

Finally, we have also achieved very promising results in an ongoing and extensive commercial trial which has provided interim confirmation of product-market fit for our first lab-test product.  Data from the trial will be very helpful in demonstrating the performance benefits of our test to international customers

What are some growth challenges you are facing and how are you approaching them?

As we look to grow further, one of our current challenges is building our team and capability – identifying key roles (either permanent staff or contracted specialist subject matter experts) and scouting them well in advance of needing them.

Another challenge has been scaling our product from the laboratory to a commercial manufacturing environment.  In this context, we have been building procedural rigour into our in-house involvement, as this is critical to test performance.  We are also working closely and communicating often with our commercial manufacturing partner, who have been excellent so far.

Finally, we have been working with a local QA consultant to evolve our Quality Systems framework, and will continue to build upon this excellent platform.

Any additional milestones achieved to date?

We were recently accepted as to present the findings of our commercial-scale trial at a global mastitis conference in Europe later this year.  This international spotlight should enable us to identify and engage with new customers and demonstrate the value that our test provides to both the herd testing customer and their farmer clients.

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Rhys, thanks for taking the time to keep us updated. As always, we look forward to watching where you will continue to grow.

Sprout Team