Owlstone Medical raises $15 million USD (£11 million GBP) with Horizons Ventures and Aviva

SBRI Healthcare alumni and Cambridge-based Owlstone Medical has announced that it has raised $15 million (£11 million) to drive the global commercialisation 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 including Medtekwiz.

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.”

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