A YORK biotech business which creates synthetic antibodies for medical testing has secured $2.2 million from overseas investors to supports its development programme and create ten new jobs.

Aptamer Group, based at York Science Park, has closed its Series A investment round after attraction international interest.

The $2.2 million funding received will enable the expansion of the business, creating ten new positions in technical, sales and administration roles which will support its continuous growth.

The company is a key player in the global aptamer market, specialising in identification, development and characterisation of nucleic acid aptamers - a synthetic alternative to antibodies - which are fast becoming alternatives to traditional antibody approaches – replacing or filling the current gap in the antibody market.

Aptamer Group was founded in 2008 by chief executive officer Dr Arron Tolley and chief technical officer Dr David Bunka, who lead the now 16-strong team. The business serves a global customer base of more than 50 organisations and has several of the top ten global Pharma companies among its clients.

Four separate companies operate under the Aptamer Group umbrella, and the firm has recently added an office in Boston (United States) where the aptamer market is growing rapidly.

Dr Tolley said: “Aptamer technology is rapidly evolving and will have a significant effect on the life sciences market in the coming years due to our ability to rapidly discover aptamers - combined with advantages in the manufacturing process such as the stability of aptamers, the cost of manufacturing and the reproducibility of results when compared to antibodies.

“The investment will allow us to drive forward our pre-clinical discovery programmes involving the development of aptamer drug conjugates (ApDCs) which are set to become a revolutionary approach to targeted drug delivery.”

The funding round was supported by Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical investment company Meneldor - founded by Dutch entrepreneurs Frans van Dalen and Paul Lelieveld.

A Meneldor spokesperson: “We believe that aptamer technology represents a paradigm shift in drug delivery methodology.

“We have invested in Aptamer Group due to their progressive approach and unique technology platform.

We believe that this will lead to the development of new medicines and represents an exciting investment opportunity.”