Roundup: Oxford Drug Design raises £2.2M to develop AI programme, Rune Labs launch Portuguese subsidiary to improve diabetes care, and more briefs


Oxford Drug Design raises £2.2M to develop AI-based drug discovery programme

Biotechnology firm Oxford Drug Design Limited (ODD) has raised £2.2M in funding from existing investors ACF Investors, o2h Ventures, Meltwind Advisory, several returning angels and new investors and the US-based R42 Group.

The Oxford University spinout has created an artificial intelligence (AI) AI proprietary platform for drug discovery, focused on unmet therapeutic needs in oncology.

Alan D Roth, CEO, ODD, said: “This latest funding will enable us to build on and accelerate our successful computational design-led discovery focus. We’re excited to be playing a pivotal role in the innovation of oncological treatments leading to better outcomes for cancer patients worldwide.”


Rune Labs launch Portuguese subsidiary to improve diabetes care

Precision neurology software and data platform company Rune Labs has announced the creation of a team of lead designers based in Lisbon, Portugal.

The new team will be focused on expanding features and workflows for Rune Labs’ StrivePD ecosystem for Parkinson’s care. The subsidiary will also be Rune’s first permanent presence in Europe.

Will Newby, VP of product, Rune Labs, said: “Rune Labs is focused on enabling human-centred care to people living with Parkinson’s, and the Portugal team of product designers will ensure that patients, clinicians, and researchers have a voice in our products.”


Babylon GP at Hand opens two new clinics in London

Babylon GP at Hand has opened two new clinics in London that will provide patients with face-to-face appointments alongside its digital-first integrated care.

The first clinic in Dean Farrar Street, Victoria, opened last week and will be followed by a clinic in Drummond Street, Euston, next month.

Dr Matthew Noble, UK medical director, Babylon, said: “In-person care is so important alongside highly-accessible digital appointments and we’re really excited to launch these two new clinics for our Babylon GP at Hand patients in London.”



CDP Venture Capital launches digital health startup accelerator

CDP Venture Capital Sgr has announced the launch of an accelerator for digital health startups, with a focus on innovative solutions for respiratory diseases, ophthalmology, women’s health, rare diseases and chronic pain management.

The VITA programme has been set up together with Healthware Group and Danish accelerator Accelerace with total assets under management of Є6.35 million.

Roberto Ascione, CEO and founder, Healthware Group, said: “The VITA accelerator is testament to Healthware’s commitment to contributing to the digital health transformation, supporting the growth and development of the most promising startups.”

Applications are open to Italian startups and international startups intending to set up registered offices in Italy, until 12 June.


Clinical trial finds blood test can identify 79% of early-stage bowel cancer

A primary care clinical trial in West Wales found that a blood test was able to pick up 79% of early-stage bowel cancers and 100% of advanced bowel cancers.

The Raman Spectrometry (RS) blood test was developed by Swansea University spin-out CanSense, with funding from Cancer Research Wales and Health and Care Research Wales.  

CanSense have also secured £1.2 million from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to further develop the blood test to use in clinical practice across Wales.  

Dr Cerys Jenkins, cofounder and director, CanSense, said: “Having this test available at the triage stage would save time, money, but most importantly save the patients from anxiety and unnecessary diagnostic tests.”


AI cancer diagnostics company wins life science innovation award

British AI startup Behold.AI has won Best UK Digital Health Solution at the Prix Galien awards.

The firm was awarded for its red dot® clinical analysis software for detecting lung cancer from X-rays, which is in use at several NHS hospital sites as part of an independent validation on patient data.

Simon Rasalingham, CEO and chairman, Behold.AI, said: “The peer-reviewed evidence we’ve built up shows that if we roll this technology out nationally we can add in the equivalent of 233 NHS consultant radiologists, which is equivalent to 255,000 hours of consultant time per year.” 



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