Cambridge-based Closed Loop Medicine (CLM) has secured £1.3m in research grant funding from the Innovate UK Innovation Accelerator, Longwall Ventures and IQ Capital, it was announced on Friday.
The new funds will see the British startup work with specialists from the Clinical Research Centre at the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, on a new project to help patients with high blood pressure that have experienced medication side effects manage their condition.
“(…) By combining blood pressure measurement, drug and non-drug therapies in a closed loop via a smartphone app, CLM will demonstrate that individual treatments can be optimised for patients,” the startup explained in a press announcement.
The project will also seek to give patients more control over their care and reduce growing pressures on the NHS.
“Some of our best blood pressure treatments work brilliantly but are used in crude doses which don’t always fit the individual patient well,” explained Dr David Collier, William Harvey Clinical Research Centre clinical director.
“Drugs which have proven to prevent heart attack and stroke most powerfully in long term studies can cause unwanted (side) effects which stop or limit their use. By personalising the dose of these most powerful medications we aim to show that we can reduce blood pressure more effectively,” he added.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the British Heart Foundation, over 14 million people are estimated to have high blood pressure in the UK, the leading risk factor for heart and circulatory disease, and more than half are said to not be receiving effective treatment.
The Cambridge startup’s work with the research centre is one of 13 projects receiving a share of funding to support advances in precision medicine technologies from the government. Approximately £7m of investment through UK Research and Innovation attracted £10m from the private sector, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said last week.
“Precision medicine is the future of healthcare, so by working with equity investors in this way we increase the likelihood of game-changing medical innovations coming to market as soon as possible,” said Dr Kath Mackay, director of Ageing Society, Health and Nutrition at Innovate UK.
ON THE RECORD
After being in “stealth mode” for several years, according to Dr Hakim Yadi OBE, chief executive and cofounder, CLM announced in May that it had raised £2.1m in a pre-Series A funding from Longwall Ventures, IQ Capital and Martlet.
Commenting on the new project, Dr Felicity Sartain, CLM chief operating officer, said:
“We are excited to develop this innovative trial with the William Harvey Clinical Research Centre, who have an international reputation for delivering clinical studies particularly within hypertension. The positive response and encouragement to develop and trial our product from the WHCRC team has been hugely supportive. We are looking forward to bringing a new precision regimen to patients.
“We believe that our Closed Loop Medicine approach will have an impact on many therapeutic pathways to improve outcomes for patients. As well as developing our own products we expect to partner with pharmaceutical companies to achieve these aims.”