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8 March 2018

Owlstone Medical inhales $15m

Insurance firm Aviva has co-led a round for Owlstone Medical, whose roots can be traced back to University of Cambridge.

Author: Robert Lavine, news editor, Global Corporate Venturing

Owlstone Medical, UK-based respiratory disease diagnostics developer, has secured $15m in a funding round co-led by Aviva Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of insurance firm Aviva.

The round was co-led by venture capital firm Horizons Ventures and follows an investment of undisclosed size by Aviva in March 2017.

Owlstone Medical was spun out from Owlstone, itself a chemical detection technology spinout of University of Cambridge, in 2016.

The company is developing an early disease diagnosis breathalyser called Breath Biopsy that is undergoing clinical trials in lung and colorectal cancer. It is also involved in a partnership with charity Cancer Research UK to explore the early diagnosis of eight types of cancer from a patient’s breath.

The breathalyser will also be offered as a precision medicine service to researchers at academic, clinical and pharmaceutical groups. Owlstone will spend the funding on expanding the precision medicine business as it prepares to commercialise its lung cancer test and develop other breathalysers.

Owlstone Medical has now raised a total of $38.5m in funding, including $7m in a July 2016 round led by private investment fund Medtekwiz Advisory.

Aviva medical director Doug Wright said: “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.”

– A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, Global Corporate Venturing.

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