Owlstone Medical has developed a breathalyser for disease. With a focus on non-invasive diagnostics for cancer, inflammatory disease and infectious disease, the company aims to save 100,000 lives and $1.5 billion in healthcare costs.
Owlstone has boosted a key global scale-up funding round to $50m thanks in no small measure to Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing and investors from Taiwan and Dubai. The latest haul totalled $35m, adding to the $15m previously announced.
The company’s breath biopsy technology has since clinched for Owlstone Medical the coveted MacRobert Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering and earned collaborations with world leading big Pharma such as AstraZeneca.
The initial phase of this financing round was led by Aviva Ventures, the venture capital arm of Aviva plc, a global leader in insurance, and Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Li Ka-shing.
The additional $35m was led by Horizons Ventures, joined by a group of highly regarded global strategic investors including Ventura Capital in Dubai and Foxconn Technologies Group in Taiwan.e new cash takes the total raised by the UK pioneer to around $73m since Billy Boyle founded the enterprise in 2016.
One of the founding fathers of the Cambridge life science sector, Dr Andy Richards, joined the board of Owlstone in September, 2018. Dr Richards has founded, invested in and helped to scale more than 25 innovative ventures including Vectura, Arakis, and Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd. He received a CBE for services to life-science investment in 2015.
In April 2018 Owlstone almost doubled its footprint at Cambridge Science Park by taking a 10-year lease on a third building. The company added the two-storey Unit 183 – a 15,954 sq ft facility on the park in June 2018. The facility is located close to Owlstone’s existing 10,037 sq ft and 8,295 sq ft buildings which comprise a mix of office and laboratory space to accommodate the company’s 130 employees.