PARAYTEC Ltd, the up-and-coming York scientific instrument company, has received more than £150,000 in its latest round of funding.

The cash injection, under the Yorkshire Forward Access To Finance For Healthcare Technologies programme, comes as the four-year-old University of York chemistry department spinout firm has created yet another technological breakthrough that has seen big pharmaceutical companies in Britain and abroad queuing with their cheque books.

New and existing investors from the Viking Club, the Yorkshire Association of British Angels and Yorkshire Fund managers collaborated on this latest investment in the company, which has begun to rely on sales of vital aids it manufactures for the discovery of new drugs and pharmaceutical products.

Its box-shaped ActiPix detector, devised at its base in St George’s Place, York, and manufactured at GSPK Design in Knaresborough, uses capillaries the width of a human hair to carry tiny liquid samples through a beam of ultra-violet light.

The images are then processed by an active pixel sensor, similar to the technology found in digital cameras and mobile phones.

The ActiPix detector allows scientists to “see” complex reactions taking place in real time and to quantify the components. It reduces analysis time by a factor of eight, saving huge costs for pharmaceutical laboratories.

The latest breakthrough, the SDI 300, is a variation of this, using the same ultra-violet movie camera to study how tablets dissolve and are released into the human body.

Already Astrazeneca Pharmaceutical Company in the UK as well as GlaxoSmithKline have bought the system which costs up to £30,000, while other pharma companies in the US, Europe, Singapore and India report huge interest.

This is the fifth tranche of investor funding that the eight-person company has attracted. The company’s chief executive Mark Vaux became involved in the Access To Finance programme in its early stages, beginning with a strategic review of his business, followed by a four-day workshop and mentoring session, which helped him hone his presentation to the investor panel.

Now Mr Vaux says the money will be used to help Paraytec sign its first major Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) contract with a leading company in the scientific instrumentation field.

“The route to market for our equipment is to partner with one or more of the big multi-nationals and this will take our business on to the next stage,” he said.

Andrew Burton, chairman of the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels, said: “We were impressed by the mix of academic and commercial people involved.”

As well as the investment, the Grant Thornton team which manages the Access to Finance programme helped Paraytec to make a research and development tax credit claim of £38,000.