Funding round co-led by new investor Horizons Ventures and existing investor Aviva
Cambridge, UK, 5 March 2018: Owlstone Medical Ltd, a diagnostics company developing a breathalyzer for disease, announced today that it has raised $15 million (£11 million) to drive the global commercialization 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.”
Owlstone Medical 集資 1500 萬美元
（2018年3月5日英國劍橋）專注研發診斷儀器的醫療公司 Owlstone Medical ，今宣布已成功籌集 1500 萬美元（1100萬英鎊），用以向全球推廣 Breath Biopsy® （呼吸活檢）技術。該筆資金將助公司進一步完善進行中之多種癌症的早期偵測試驗，並將「肺癌呼吸活檢測試」引進市場，為製藥行業提供更多精準醫療服務。此輪募資由新投資者維港投資與原有投資者 Aviva 共同領投。維港投資是李嘉誠先生的私人投資公司，一直參與具創新力和顛覆性的全球科技項目之早期投資；Aviva Ventures 則是國際保險龍頭 Aviva 集團旗下的創投公司。是次融資還得到 Owlstone Medical 現有贊助人支持 。
Owlstone Medical的「呼吸活檢平台」將對早期檢測技術和精凖醫療作出徹底革新，也能應用於癌症和其他各種疾病。該技術可更早地作出疾病篩查，使治療更為有效，增加患老生存率。呼吸活檢更可用於精凖醫療，確保能夠給有需要患者及時「對症下藥」，有助改善療效，並減低醫療成本。以「呼吸」為檢測基礎的「呼吸活檢平台」，目前正處臨床試驗中，試驗為該類型檢測中最大型的，正為全球最常見的兩種癌症殺手—肺癌及大腸癌進行評估。該平台還可應用於「泛癌症測試」（PAN cancer trial），試驗與英國癌症研究中心合作進行，研究基於呼吸來對八種不同類型癌症進行早期檢測。
Owlstone Medical的「呼吸活檢服務」具獨特功能，有助學術、臨床和藥物合作夥伴研究，從癌症患者的呼吸中尋找潛在的生物標記資訊及作出診斷，促進各項精準醫療工作。Owlstone的嶄新科技，吸引了全球知名的製藥客戶，例如 GSK，將結合「呼吸活檢平台」，為旗下一項呼吸道疾病候選藥物進行臨床研發。維港投資的張浩瑞先生表示：「我們很高興能夠跟 Aviva Ventures 和其他主要策略投資者一起參與此輪融資。我們相信，Owlstone Medical會在早期癌症檢測及精準醫療的誇治療領域中，佔著主導席位；我們有信心，Owlstone Medical的『呼吸活檢平台』將會對醫療保健帶來新氣象。」
Aviva 醫療總監 Doug Wright 博士評論指：「Aviva Ventures 矢志投資具高增長業務的企業，並認為 Owlstone Medical的技術對於我們業務策略非常重要。擴大合作夥伴關係，標誌著我們對於把呼吸活檢用作早期疾病檢測、篩查及監測治療充滿信心，這可為人類健康帶來莫大裨益 。」
Owlstone Medical 共同創始人兼行政總裁 Billy Boyle 補充：「我們很榮幸維港投資與 Aviva攜手領投這輪關鍵的融資計劃，並且非常高興能夠得到現有投資者的繼續支持。由創立公司開始，我們建立了呼吸活檢這嶄新研究項目，有了新的融資，我們有信心確立在早期偵測和精準醫療領域上的領導地位，並可在市場上展現這技術的獨特性。」
Owlstone Medical成功開發用於檢測疾病的呼吸分析儀器。公司致力為癌症、炎症性疾病和傳染病提供非侵入性早期檢測及精準醫療，目標是拯救 10 萬人的生命和節省價值15億美元的醫療保健費用。
Owlstone Medical的 Breath Biopsy ®（呼吸活檢）技術能夠從呼吸中的檢測疾病生物標記，以此創造嶄新領域，革新醫療保健。屢獲殊榮的 ReCIVA 呼吸採樣器，是首個合規格的呼吸收集儀器，用以鎖定呼吸中的揮發性有機化合物（VOC），然後作出分析。
Owlstone Medical正進行可於早期以呼吸識別肺癌和大腸癌的測試，這兩項在全球最普遍的癌症殺手，代表著數十億元計的市場機會。公司亦積極進行臨床診斷和篩查工作，包括全球最大型的以呼吸為主的臨床測試。Breath Biopsy ®（呼吸活檢）亦可應用於泛癌症測試，試驗與英國癌症研究中心合作進行，研究基於呼吸來對八種不同類型癌症進行早期檢測。
Owlstone Medical從 Owlstone Inc 發展而來，2016年把具專利的微晶片化學傳感科技帶進市場，開發和商業化醫療應用的 FAIMS 技術，並把技術售給全球軍事和工業客戶。公司共集資3850萬美元，主要得到創投界的維港投資和保健醫療龍頭Aviva的支持。Owlstone Medical總部位於英國劍橋。
Notes to Editors
Billy Boyle, CEO, Owlstone Medical.
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About Owlstone Medical
Owlstone Medical has developed a unique breathalyzer for disease. The company’s vision is to become the global leader in non-invasive breath tests for early disease detection and precision medicine across cancer, inflammatory disease and infectious disease with the aim of saving 100,000 lives and $1.5 billion in healthcare costs.
Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy® platform is creating a new industry category, based on the routine detection and analysis of volatile organic compound (VOC) biomarkers in breath, which has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. The award winning ReCIVA Breath Sampler is the first standardized breath collection device designed to capture the VOC biomarkers present in breath, which are then analyzed using Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy services and products.
Owlstone Medical is developing breath tests for the early detection of lung and colorectal cancer. These are two of the most common cancer killers worldwide and represent multibillion dollar market opportunities. The company has an active clinical diagnostics/screening pipeline including the world’s largest breath-based clinical trials. The Breath Biopsy platform is also being deployed in the PAN cancer trial, a collaboration with Cancer Research UK studying the early detection of eight different cancer types in breath.
The company also sees a significant role for Breath Biopsy in precision medicine, where it can provide dynamic information about a patient’s disease activity and identify patients most likely to respond to a particular therapy. Breath Biopsy aims to ensure that the right therapy is given to the right patient at the right time, helping to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy clinical laboratory is a unique, revenue generating capability that allows pharmaceutical, clinical and academic partners worldwide to explore breath-based biomarkers to optimize their own precision medicine activities. The commercialization of Breath Biopsy precision medicine companion diagnostics through pharmaceutical partners is expected to provide Owlstone Medical with a significant royalty stream as breath-based precision medicine becomes a reality.
Owlstone Medical was spun out of Owlstone Inc. in 2016 to develop and commercialize medical applications of its proprietary microchip chemical sensing technology, Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS), which is sold in the military and industrial sectors globally. The company has raised a total of $38.5 million in equity financing, and is backed by technology investor Horizons Ventures, and Aviva, a leading healthcare insurer.
Owlstone Medical is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.
About Horizons Ventures
Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Mr. Li Ka-shing, is a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies, including Facebook, Spotify, Impossible Foods, Improbable, Zoom, Blockstream, Soul Machines and ChromaDex. For more information, please visit http://horizonsventures.com/
- Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
- In the UK it is the leading insurer serving one in every four households and has strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and it is a member of the FTSE100 index.
- Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £350 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £475 billion.
- Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; it paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.
By serving customers well, Aviva is building a business which is strong and sustainable, which its people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
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If you want to learn more about how Owlstone Medical's Breath Sampling and Analysis technology is being utilised in asthma why not check out our free ebook: Breath Biopsy: The Complete Guide?