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5 July, 2022 - 21:10 By Tony Quested

CardiaTec investment to fast-track AI cardiovascular disease platform

CardiaTec, a Cambridge University spinout developing an AI platform to discover new drugs for cardiovascular diseases, has clinched an unspecified funding round.

Cambridge’s o2h Ventures is co-investing in the precision medicines pioneer with Apex Ventures, Laidlaw Ventures, Crista Galli Ventures, and Cambridge University. 

CardiaTec is having a buoyant start to 2022. In March, it was honoured by winning the SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) Bright SCIdea competition.

The CardiaTec team, comprising co-founders Raphael Peralta, Thelma Zablocki and Namshik Han, explained to the judges how their drug discovery tool can help fight the global problem of 17.8 million deaths a year from cardiovascular disease. 

At present in the UK, only £9 per person goes to cardiovascular research and development – one third the investment in oncology. CardiaTec’s next generation therapeutic model should help redress this imbalance.

Peralta said: “There is a ‘one size fits all’ treatment approach to cardiovascular disease currently with every person who has an acute heart attack treated the same way, but this needs to change if we are to address this increasing problem. 

Peralta  added: “CardiaTec is working to improve our understanding of the disease, revealing its underpinning biological pathways for novel target discovery. For example, half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol.

“Also, much is known about the impact of lipids on the disease, but what about inflammation? CardiaTec is the first company to specialise in the early stage of drug discovery in cardiovascular disease  – responding to the NHS’s call to tackle this killer and reduce the burden on public health. Tailoring this platform is what makes us different.”

According to judge for the SCI award, Sarah Skerratt, CardiaTec’s winning formula was “a highly innovative approach to identifying therapeutics for a key area of unmet medical need – all delivered and executed really well.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: Dr Namshik Han (right) of CardiaTech at the Milner Institute, Cambridge with Sunil Shah of o2h Ventures.

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