Qureight secures £1.5m to enhance AI solution in battle against complex diseases
Cambridge-based data company Qureight has raised £1.5 million seed funding to deliver the next generation of its groundbreaking platform and capitalise on its vision to house the world’s largest collection of data from complex diseases.
Each Phase III pharmaceutical study in complex diseases can cost £200 million-plus. The company’s proprietary technology allows scientists to track disease progression and drug response in patients with complex diseases, developing unique digital biomarkers for use in clinical trials. This will significantly reduce the costs of bringing complex, life-saving drugs to market.
One of Qureight’s first targets is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing becomes increasingly difficult.
Lung scarring can also happen as a consequence of Covid-19. Qureight was the first to integrate complex data sets and software algorithms across Europe last year.
This groundbreaking work showed that changes in blood distribution within the lungs in Covid infection may partly explain why patients have such low blood oxygen levels and opens the door to newer ways of treating patients by targeting the lung’s blood supply.
CEO Dr Muhunthan Thillai – who is also a lung specialist at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge – demonstrated at the recent European Respiratory Society International Congress in Madrid that automated image analysis from CT scans of the lungs, paired with clinical data, can be used to track the progression of patients with lung scarring as the condition gets worse and the disease progresses. This breakthrough has the potential to shorten clinical trials and improve patient outcomes.
“Existing treatments for lung fibrosis are costly and clinical trials to find new drugs are often very large – needing many patients to look for an outcome,” said Dr Thillai.
“Qureight’s platform technology will allow biopharma companies to recruit fewer patients for clinical trials and more precisely target the right kind of patients – saving money and producing better outcomes with a personalised approach to drug development.”
Qureight chief scientific officer Dr. Alessandro Ruggiero – also a radiology consultant in Cambridge – added: “Our next targets are pulmonary hypertension and adverse drug effects in complex lung cancer patients.
“This funding will allow us to use our platform to work with our biopharma partners to accelerate drug development in these areas.”
Qureight’s funding round was led by Playfair Capital, with participation from life sciences funds Meltwind – Jonathan Milner’s fund – Ascension and Cambridge Angels.
Playfair Capital investor Jeevan Sunner said: “The world-leading clinical expertise of co- founders Dr Thillai and Dr Ruggiero has been crucial in Qureight’s development of the world’s only AI- powered platform dedicated to complex diseases.
“The technology offers an unrivalled integrated and secure solution for managing, analysing and sharing clinical data – and is set to transform the structuring of clinical trials and eventually the treatment of patients.”
• PHOTOGRAPH: Qureight co founders Dr Thillai and Dr Ruggier