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AI medtech Qureight raises $8.5M to develop drugs for lung and heart diseases

Qureight team
Picture credits: Qureight

Complex lung and heart diseases, such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and Pulmonary Hypertension, currently have limited treatment options and poor survival rates. High-value data from patient scans and records is stored across numerous platforms and databases in an unstructured form. Researchers must manually extract relevant data from sources for their research, a hugely expensive and time-consuming process.

Built to tackle this complex problem, UK techbio startup Qureight’s digital infrastructure houses and curates multiple types of medical data for powerful analysis. Notably, the company is targeting a $6.8 billion, rapidly growing addressable market for clinical trial imaging analysis and data curation in lung and heart disease.

In a recent development, the startup picked up $8.5 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round. Hargreave Hale AIM VCT led the round, joined by XTX Ventures (invested in Oriole Networks and BlueSkeye AI), Guinness Ventures, and existing investors including Playfair Capital, Meltwind, Ascension Life Fund, and Cambridge Angels. Previously, the company raised £1.5 million in seed funding in 2022. 

The investment will be used to accelerate their AI-driven product portfolio and expand into new diseases including lung cancer. 

Appoints new board members 

In addition to this round, Qureight appoints new board members, including Dr. Debra Barker, an experienced healthcare NED and Chief Medical Officer and previous SVP at Novartis, and Jenny Winter, CEO of Animalcare Group and previous VP at AstraZeneca. 

Also, consultant Thoracic Radiologist Dr. Simon Walsh joined the Qureight team as their new Chief Scientific Officer. He was previously a NIHR Clinician Scientist at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, and is the outgoing Imaging Chair at the European Respiratory Society. He is also a member of the Fleischner Society – a prestigious global group of 60 leading respiratory scientists and radiologists.

Leverages imaging data analytics and AI

Founded by Alessandro Ruggiero, and Muhunthan Thillai, Qureight is an imaging analytics company. It has unique healthcare access through data contracts across NHS England and can

collect CT scans, biomarkers, and other trial endpoints directly from hospitals or clinical research organisations (CROs) in real-time as a complex disease drug trial progresses. This information is securely collated and structured, ready for analysis. 

The insights from this analysis can be used to look for drug responses and find new endpoints. The structured data can also be used to build virtual trial patients, making it easier to run AI models and compare disparate data sets. This allows for the design of more resource-efficient clinical trials, to improve existing disease treatments, and to develop powerful new drugs.

Qureight has ongoing strategic collaborations and research partnerships with some of the most well-known healthcare, research, and pharmaceutical companies in the world, including AstraZeneca, Vicore Pharma, and several NHS Trusts. 

Dr. Muhunthan Thillai, founder and CEO of Qureight, said: “The close of our Series A round marks the ‘end of the beginning’ and the start of a new chapter for Qureight, as we turn our focus to developing our platform and creating products in new disease areas. Our mission to extend the lives of lung and heart disease patients will be bolstered by the invaluable expertise of our new board and new senior team members, and we are looking forward to adding to our strategic biopharma collaborations.”

Lucy Bloomfield, co-manager of the Hargreave Hale AIM VCT, commented: “Hargreave Hale AIM VCT has a long tradition of investing in innovative, high growth companies, and the application of AI in life sciences is a particular area of interest. Through the investment process, the team at Qureight has impressed us with their vision and expertise. We are delighted to be the lead investor on this funding round and look forward to supporting Qureight as the company expands its capability.”

Gabriele Papievyte, Head of Ventures at XTX Markets commented: ‘We are delighted to be supporting Qureight and the management team through this Series A investment. We believe their AI-driven platform will significantly improve outcomes from clinical trials and aid the development of new treatments for complex lung and heart diseases.’

Dr Malcolm King, Chief Investment Officer at Guinness Ventures, said: “Use of AI to accelerate drug discovery is one of the hottest opportunities in VC right now. We have been impressed by Qureight’s potential to help its customers accelerate discovery of new treatments for complex lung and heart disease and are looking forward to working with Muhunthan and his team to help them realise the next stage of their growth ambitions.”

Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair Capital said: “We’re very happy to continue supporting Muhunthan and the team in this round. The pull from the market has been increasing in intensity over the past year and this funding will allow them to capitalise on the opportunities ahead. With the Qureight platform delivering never before available insights, the impact is far reaching – pharma companies generate millions of dollars from better decision making and patients benefit from more efficacious therapies sooner.”

Dr Debra Barker, previous SVP at Novartis and Qureight NED, said: “Having spent the last 30 years working in drug development, I’ve experienced first hand how struggles with fragmented data – whether biomarkers or images – complicate our decision making, endpoint and study design, and frustrate our desire to advance new treatments to the right patients. The Qureight platform and consequent insights promise to transform this process, and I am very excited to accompany them on their journey.”

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