Medical technology company Presymptom Health has successfully closed its seed round funding to support the development of its pioneering blood test for the early detection of sepsis.
Presymptom Health’s diagnostic test builds on work originally researched over 10 years at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Initial trials in patients show it can predict the onset of sepsis in patients up to three days before symptoms appear, enabling clinicians to treat them much sooner and manage them more effectively.
This funding from Ploughshare Innovations and UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund will enable the company to complete clinical trials at several hospitals in the UK and advance the product towards registration and launch.
The trial is ongoing at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital and led by clinicians from Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. At least two more sites are anticipated to go live during 2021, with up to 600 patients given the option to participate.
The current trials will last 12-18 months, and data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years. Presymptom Health is open to approaches from more hospitals to help expedite the research process.
Iain Miller, CEO at Presymptom Health, said: “We are delighted to have reached this crucial stage and grateful to Ploughshare Innovations and UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund for their invaluable support which will enable us to maximise the impact of the trial and validate our data. This funding is vital to our work in confirming our test’s ability to provide early diagnosis of a disease which affects up to 49 million patients annually and causes up to 11 million deaths each year around the globe.”
Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, CEO at Ploughshare Innovations, said: “We are proud to have supported Presymptom Health in getting to this crucial trial stage, and to now build on our investment to support the continued development of this very promising technology.
“This test, originally developed to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, could transform clinical outcomes for the millions of people around the world who contract sepsis each year, including two million a year admitted to UK hospitals with suspicion of sepsis.”
Oliver Sexton of UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund said: “Sepsis is one of the most common causes of death yet is vastly under-reported. Symptoms are very similar to common flu. A low-cost, rapid test to differentiate patients at risk is a huge potential step forward in preventing thousands of deaths annually.”