Exclusive: Premier League Covid-19 testing firm raises $15m for UK rollout - City A.M.

The company behind the Premier League’s coronavirus testing programme has raised $15m (£11.6m) in fresh funding as it eyes a UK rollout for its new rapid Covid-19 test.

Biotech firm Prenetics said it will use the cash injection to advance its rapid testing technology, which promises results in 15 to 30 minutes.

Read more: Demand for UK coronavirus tests up to four-times higher than supply

Prenetics played a key role in restarting the football season by providing tests for all 20 Premier League teams, and was chosen again as the sole testing partner for the new season.

The company also runs testing for the British Boxing Board of Control and the England and Wales Cricket Board, as well as on film productions at Pinewood Studios.

But Prenetics is now hoping to expand its test into more general use and is in talks with the governments in the UK and around the world about wider rollouts. 

The Hong Kong-based firm will next month launch a pilot with Cathay Pacific and three other major airlines to trial airport testing.

The testing could also be used in critical areas such as care homes and schools to help track and combat the spread of coronavirus.

The funding round was led by London-based private equity firm Apis Partners, alongside existing investor Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

Prenetics chief executive Avi Lasarow told City A.M. the technology could provide the government with key data to help it adapt the UK’s coronavirus response.

“We think that testing is akin to wearing a seatbelt in a car,” he said. “Without a doubt testing is going to play a major role in our everyday lives until such a time as a vaccine.”

It comes as the government faces growing criticism over its testing system, with shortages forcing some Brits to travel hundreds of miles to get