Roundup: DNA Script signs contract with French Department of Defence, Octopus Ventures announces new health tech team and more briefs

Also, Racoon.World raises further €660K for its physiotherapy telemedicine platform.
By Sara Mageit
06:43 am
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Also, Racoon.World raises further €660K for its physiotherapy telemedicine platform.

Credit: Racoon.World

RACCOON.WORLD RAISES FUNDING FOR PHYSIOTHERAPY TELEMEDICINE

EU-based digital physiotherapy startup, Raccoon.World has raised €660K in funding from Fast Track to Innovation (FTI). The money will be spent on further R&D, scientific research and certification of the renewed product, as well as potential partners.

The startups' platform, Raccoon.Recovery allows physiotherapy professionals to build a treatment course digitally with patients who have musculoskeletal disorders or are recovering from a stroke. The platform focuses on examination of patient condition to building a gamified exercise course and patient progress monitoring.

The funding will also go to further product development, including scaling to full-body product from hand-and-arm solution, clinical trials of new solution functionality that will expand the automation of therapists’ everyday routine, IP protection and an MDR certification of the renewed product as a medical device. The grant programme will last approximately two years.


ABBOTT RECEIVES CE MARK FOR COVID-19 ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING

American multinational medical devices and health care company, Abbott has received the CE mark for two new uses of its Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus - for asymptomatic testing and self-swabbing. This is particularly instrumental in overcoming the pandemic, as according to a recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), at least 50% of COVID-19 infections are estimated to have originated from asymptomatic individuals.

Since August 2020, Abbott has shipped 200 million Panbio rapid antigen tests to 120 countries across the globe, and in coordination with the Global Fund, the World Health Organisation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to make the test available to low income countries.

A nasal or nasopharyngeal swab is used to collect samples from individuals and test results can delivered in 15 minutes with no instrumentation.


MANUS SECURES £1.2M TO SUPPORT LAUNCH OF PARKINSON’S PEN

Edinburgh medtech company Manus has closed a £1.2 million funding round to support the launch of its digital pen which provides an early warning of Parkinson's disease - the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world.

With this latest funding secured, Manus is rolling-out its NeuroMotor Pen later this year, initially focusing on the UK and Benelux markets, while also progressing work to secure regulatory approval to start selling in the US. 

Investors in this funding round included the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures, profit with purpose investor SIS Ventures and Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s venture fund.


INFUSION TECH COMPANY LAUNCHES UK OPERATION

Israeli infusion therapy and drug delivery solution company, Eitan Medical, has launched a UK operation to improve its support of the Sapphire infusion pump customers, which include NHS trusts, private hospitals and homecare providers.

Eitan Medical UK launches with a team of specialists in clinical support, integrated care support and operations management. The UK entity will be backed by Eitan Medical’s global infrastructure, with offices across Israel, the US and Europe.  

The UK operation aims to deliver safe patient-focused infusion solutions that improve healthcare outcomes and quality of life. The team is reaching out to its existing customers to learn more about their experience so that it can further improve its products and services. 


NECENTI LABS LAUNCHES COVID TEST TO GET STAFF BACK TO WORK

Madrid-based Necenti Labs is offering a new technology which claims to be 96% accurate in detecting COVID-19, as well as displaying data to give staff the possibility of returning to work.

Necenti has developed a biochemical algorithm that allows for the measurement of the epigenetic fingerprint at the molecular level, using a small blood sample.  

This use of molecular medicine allows for the analysis of individuals to determine if they're likely to get the infection and reveal how it will affect them by showing a person's risk of contagion and the severity for the individual. It also applies to asymptomatic carriers who might otherwise unknowingly spread the virus. 

The local Necenti Labs team is sent to the place of business in dedicated vehicles that have been built to task. The aim is for employees to give a blood sample before filling out a questionnaire, then return to work.

 

PSYCHOTHERAPY APP LAUNCHES TO COMBAT COVID MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS  

My Pocket Therapist has been launched in the UK to help with the mental health crisis experienced across the nation during COVID-19.

The app connects users needing help to a range of therapists including psychotherapists, counsellors, hypnotherapists and cognitive behavioral therapists.

Clients choose therapists from a list of video profiles and sessions are conducted via video call, making mental health services accessible and COVID-safe during lockdown.

Daniel Solden, founder of My Pocket Therapist said: "During COVID-19 many people are under lockdown, working alone and are not able to physically access any of their normal services. Some people who have not ever had mental health problems now need to see a therapist urgently and can't due to crippling waiting times and restrictions. The app allows you to view therapists' video profiles and see someone in an hour!"


PANGAEA DATA RAISES FURTHER FUNDING FOR AI WITH PHARMA COMPANIES

AI-based software provider, Pangaea Data has announced it has raised its second funding round in 12 months, following a year of rapid growth of its product for scientists and clinicians at global healthcare organisations in the UK and US.

The investment was led by deep tech VC firm IQ Capital, who are following on from the previous funding round alongside UK venture firm Hambro Perks. New investors in this round include Ascension Ventures and a number of high-profile private investors from the pharmaceutical industry.

Pangaea's Intelligence Extractor (PIE) is based on its proprietary unsupervised AI, which helps its customers in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industry extract intelligence such as phenotypes from doctors’ notes, discharge summaries and other textual data, which comprises 80% of a patient’s electronic health record.

The funding will be used to make hires to the technical and commercial teams, increasing the capacity for client delivery and expanding the company’s presence in the US, from its existing base in San Francisco. It will also facilitate further development of the product for new use cases in the biopharmaceutical industry.


OCTOPUS VENTURES ANNOUNCES NEW HEALTH TECH TEAM AND FUNDING

European venture capital firm, Octopus Ventures has announced boosting its health tech offering with a €112.5 million global fund and a new team.

The new team is made up of former founding members of EY Ventures, Joe Stringer and Dr Pooja Sikka, as well as Shamik Parekh who join Octopus Ventures from TenX Health. The team builds on Octopus' expertise in the digital health tech space and brings their broad knowledge and extensive network in the industry.

The team will manage the fund to invest in early-stage health tech businesses. The fund aims to accelerate healthcare technology into global health systems and directly to consumers that need better access to healthcare. It will focus on Series A, reserving capital to follow on throughout the growth rounds.


MENTAL HEALTH APP GUIDE LAUNCHES

The Dutch foundation for mental health (MIND), launched a guide on 15 January to show how mental health apps score on reliability, safety and usability. This initiative is in response to the demand of practitioners and clients to gain more insight into the plethora of mental health apps available on the market.

The aim of the mental health app overview is to make the quality of an app transparent. This is valuable information for people who want to strengthen their mental resilience, people with early mental health problems, mental health clients and caregivers.

The site has more than 50 rated apps that help with relaxation or sleep, provide techniques to deal with anxiety or ways to create a daily structure. The selection and assessment is in collaboration with British company ORCHA (The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps), which specialises in assessing health apps.


DNA SCRIPT SIGNS CONTRACT WITH FRENCH DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE

San Francisco-based DNA synthesis company, DNA Script has announced a partnership with the French Defence Innovation Agency, in liaison with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), to develop a prototype for rapid mobile manufacturing of DNA primers and probes, key components of detection and diagnostic tests for pathogens.

The joint project will employ DNA Script's enzymatic synthesis platform to generate high-fidelity nucleic acids. The prototypes to be developed by DNA Script will be evaluated by the DGA. As part of the agreement, DNA Script will receive $1.6 million (€1.3M) in funding. 

The DGA identified DNA Script's SYNTAX platform, an instrument that synthesises custom nucleic acids, is a function that enables scientists to iterate faster in response to emerging biothreats, as a potential solution. DNA Script will adapt its platform to enable the synthesis of the DNA reagents such as TaqMan probes, required in PCR-based molecular biology diagnostics.

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