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5 March, 2018 - 10:26 By Tony Quested

Global legend Li Ka-Shing backs $15m Owlstone Medical haul

Owlstone Billy Boyle

Cambridge UK healthcare innovator Owlstone Medical has raised an extra $15 million to drive commercialisation of its Breath Biopsy platform. This adds to the $16.5m raised by the company in 2017; Business Weekly understands further investment talks are in the pipeline.

The latest funding round was co-led by Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of global science benefactor 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 insurance business Aviva plc.

The financing also includes follow on investment from Owlstone Medical’s other existing backers.

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.

Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform has the potential to revolutionise 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 optimise their own precision medicine activities.

The 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.

Owlstone Medical CEO Billy Boyle said: “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.”


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