UK-based Owlstone Medical Ltd, a developer of a breathalyzer for disease, has raised $15 million in funding. Horizons Venture and Aviva Ventures led the round.
Cambridge, UK, 5 March 2018: Owlstone Medical Ltd, a diagnostics company developing a breathalyzer for disease, announced today that it has raised $15 million (£11 million) to drive the global commercialization of its Breath Biopsy® platform. The funds will enable the company to bring its lung cancer Breath Biopsy test to market, deepen the early detection pipeline with ongoing trials across multiple cancers, and further grow its existing precision medicine services to the pharmaceutical industry.
The funding round was co-led by Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Mr. Li Ka-shing, a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies, and current investor Aviva Ventures, the venture capital arm of Aviva plc, a global leader in insurance. The financing also includes follow on investment from Owlstone Medical’s other existing backers.
Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform has the potential to revolutionize early detection and precision medicine, with applications in cancer and a wide range of other conditions. The technology enables disease to be detected earlier, when treatments are more effective and more lives can be saved. Breath Biopsy can also be used to enable precision medicine, ensuring that the right drug is given to the right patient at the right time, helping to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
The Breath Biopsy platform is currently being evaluated in the world’s largest breath-based clinical trials for two of the most common cancer killers globally – lung and colorectal cancer. The platform is also being used in the PAN cancer trial, a collaboration with Cancer Research UK which is studying the early detection of eight different cancer types in breath.
The company’s Breath Biopsy Service is a unique capability enabling academic, clinical and pharmaceutical partners to explore breath-based diagnostics or biomarkers to optimize their own precision medicine activities. The Breath Biopsy service is attracting high profile global pharmaceutical clients, with GSK recently choosing to integrate the Breath Biopsy platform into the clinical development programme of one of the novel drug candidates in their respiratory disease pipeline.
Horizons Ventures’ Patrick Zhang, shared: “We are pleased to join Aviva Ventures and other key strategic investors in this financing round. We believe Owlstone Medical is positioned to become a strong player in the fields of early cancer detection and precision medicine across multiple therapeutic areas. We are confident that Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform could have a major impact on healthcare.”
Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director at Aviva, commented: “Aviva Ventures invests in entrepreneurs with high growth businesses and has identified Owlstone Medical’s technology as being strategically important to our business. The expansion of our partnership with them signifies continued confidence in the company and in Breath Biopsy as an entirely new means of early disease detection, screening and treatment monitoring that could make a real difference to people’s health.”
Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, added: “We are delighted that Horizons Ventures has joined forces with Aviva to co-lead this funding round. Since founding the company, we have established Breath Biopsy as a new industry category and are confident that this funding will allow us to demonstrate the significant value that we can deliver from our market leading position in early detection and precision medicine.”
About Owlstone Medical www.owlstonemedical.com
Owlstone Medical has developed a unique breathalyzer for disease. The company’s vision is to become the global leader in non-invasive breath tests for early disease detection and precision medicine across cancer, inflammatory disease and infectious disease with the aim of saving 100,000 lives and $1.5 billion in healthcare costs.
Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy® platform is creating a new industry category, based on the routine detection and analysis of volatile organic compound (VOC) biomarkers in breath, which has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. The award winning ReCIVA Breath Sampler is the first standardized breath collection device designed to capture the VOC biomarkers present in breath, which are then analyzed using Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy services and products.
Owlstone Medical is developing breath tests for the early detection of lung and colorectal cancer. These are two of the most common cancer killers worldwide and represent multibillion dollar market opportunities. The company has an active clinical diagnostics/screening pipeline including the world’s largest breath-based clinical trials. The Breath Biopsy platform is also being deployed in the PAN cancer trial, a collaboration with Cancer Research UK studying the early detection of eight different cancer types in breath.
The company also sees a significant role for Breath Biopsy in precision medicine, where it can provide dynamic information about a patient’s disease activity and identify patients most likely to respond to a particular therapy. Breath Biopsy aims to ensure that the right therapy is given to the right patient at the right time, helping to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy clinical laboratory is a unique, revenue generating capability that allows pharmaceutical, clinical and academic partners worldwide to explore breath-based biomarkers to optimize their own precision medicine activities. The commercialization of Breath Biopsy precision medicine companion diagnostics through pharmaceutical partners is expected to provide Owlstone Medical with a significant royalty stream as breath-based precision medicine becomes a reality.
Owlstone Medical was spun out of Owlstone Inc. in 2016 to develop and commercialize medical applications of its proprietary microchip chemical sensing technology, Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS), which is sold in the military and industrial sectors globally. The company has raised a total of $38.5 million in equity financing, and is backed by technology investor Horizons Ventures, and Aviva, a leading healthcare insurer.
Owlstone Medical is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.
About Horizons Ventures
Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Mr. Li Ka-shing, is a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies, including Facebook, Spotify, Impossible Foods, Improbable, Zoom, Blockstream, Soul Machines and ChromaDex. For more information, please visit http://horizonsventures.com/
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