The UK medtech industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by a number of factors. According to the UK government, the medtech sector generates over £23 billion in revenue and employs over 115,000 people.
One key driver of growth has been the UK government’s commitment to supporting innovation in the sector. Another factor driving growth in the UK medtech industry is the country’s strong academic and research institutions. The UK is home to a number of world-class universities and research institutions, which have been instrumental in the development of new medical technologies.
In addition to these factors, the UK’s access to funding has also helped to drive growth in the medtech industry. The country has a well-developed ecosystem of venture capital firms and angel investors, as well as a range of public funding programs to support early-stage companies.
Reportedly, investments in medtech increased by £477 million from 2014 to 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted accelerated this process and investments in the medtech industry surged by 96% from 2020 to 2022. Some recent investments in the UK medtech industry include ConnectCARE, 52 North Health, and Qureight, among others.
Furthermore, the UK’s strong regulatory environment has also been a key factor in the growth of the medtech industry. The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been particularly proactive in engaging with the industry and promoting innovation.
At a time when the UK medtech industry is well-positioned for continued growth in the coming years, TFN has compiled a list of 10 medtech startups from the UK to watch out for in 2023.
Founder/s: Luke Hares, Mark Slack, Martin Frost
Funded year: 2014
Total funding: $986M
Cambridge-based CMR Surgical is a medical devices company dedicated to transforming surgery with Versius, a next-generation surgical robot. It has built the first made-in-Britain surgical robot, which helps surgeons perform keyhole surgery by mimicking the human arm and allowing greater precision, accuracy, and dexterity. With this robot, the company lets surgeons do more such surgeries. Also, it will help patients recover more quickly and with less readmission compared to open surgery.
In 2021, in the world’s largest ever medtech financing round, CMR Surgical picked up $600 million in a Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Ally Bridge Group, among others.
Founder/s: John E. Milad, Morgan Intrator
Funded year: 2008
Total funding: $348M
A medical devices company, Quanta, has developed a flexible kidney care device called SC+ hemodialysis system. The high-performance, compact hemodialysis system is an FDA-cleared system that is portable and can be used at home and clinics. Notably, hemodialysis is a life-sustaining treatment for patients with kidney failure to help normalise blood chemistry and remove waste products and excess fluids, and Quanta improve the delivery of dialysis and help people live more freely.
Back in 2021, Quanta secured $245 million in an oversubscribed and upsized Series D round. The round was led by Glenview Capital and co-led by Novo Holdings alongside participation from many others. This was the largest private funding round for a dialysis device company.
Founder/s: Connor Campbel
Funded year: 2016
Total funding: $140M
A University of Oxford spinout, Osler Diagnostics, developed a portable diagnostic lab called Osler Origin. This tabletop device with a sleek iPad-like interface can perform a wide range of testing in a rapid, low-cost, and easy-to-use manner. Osler Origin can offer a wide portfolio of high-performance diagnostic tests in all major healthcare settings, globally.
Its diagnostic process links a user, patient, and cartridge ID together. One has to scan the user and patient ID via an integrated barcode or RFID reader or enter via touchscreen. The test cartridge ID is automatically read on insertion.
Late last year, the diagnostic company secured $85 million in Series C funding from a strategic investor, M&G Investments, and existing investors to to launch its first blood-testing device.
Founder/s: Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, Shankar Balasubramian
Funded year: 2012
Total funding: $145M
Cambridge Epigenetix (CEGX) is a life sciences tools and technology company revolutionising genome sequencing. It develops genome sequencing technology, which generates genetic and epigenetic data for DNA analysis. This tool has many uses such as research into ageing, and early diagnosis, and disease monitoring.
In late 2021, Cambridge Epigenetix grabbed $88 million to commercialise its proprietary sequencing technology. This investment from GV (Google Ventures), Ahren Innovation Capital, New Science Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Temasek and Third Point Ventures was for the purposes of research and development.
Founder/s: Billy Boyle, David Ruiz Alonso
Funded year: 2004
Total funding: $140M
Owlstone Medical has developed a breathalyzer for disease for the early detection of cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases. Its Breath Biopsy platform eyes to look for early indications of a range of diseases. These tests allow for early diagnosis when treatments are more effective and more lives can be saved. It is also developing tests for lung and colorectal cancer, two of the most common cancer killers worldwide, and for asthma stratification by the therapeutic response.
In 2021, the company secured $58 million in an oversubscribed Series D round. he round was led by returning investor Horizons Ventures, which now takes a seat on Owlstone Medical’s Board, and is joined by other existing and high-profile new investors from Asia, the Middle East and the US.
Founder/s: Tim Hearley
Funded year: 2000
Total funding: $14M
A spin-out from Imperial College London UK, deltaDOT develops High-Performance Capillary Electrophoresis (HPCE) instruments that offer research and consultancy services. Operating in the life sciences, drug testing, and diagnostics sectors, it designs and produces HPCE instruments marketed worldwide.
Founder/s: Justin Benesch, Philipp Kukura
Funded year: 2018
Total funding: NA
A University of Oxford spinout, Refeyn develops mass photometry, Refeyn’s unique and disruptive technology, which makes measuring and imaging molecular mass more easily accessible. It can rapidly measure the mass of individual molecules and particles in solutions. The Refeyn technology has applications in sample characterisation, analysing protein oligomerisation, bimolecular interactions, and macromolecular assemblies.
In 2022, Refeyn grabbed an oversubscribed Series B financing round led by Northpond Ventures, a leading scientific, medical, and technology-driven venture firm. The round was also strongly supported by a slew of existing investors.
Founder/s: Rajarshi Banerjee, Matthew Robson, Michael Brady
Funded year: 2012
Total funding: $120M
Perspectum delivers digital technologies that help clinicians provide better care for patients with liver disease, diabetes, and cancer. Focusing on precision medicine using advanced imaging and genetics, it aims to empower patients and clinicians through quantitative assessments of health enabling early detection, diagnosis, and targeted treatment.
Its software products enhance the capabilities of a standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, enabling it to capture multiparametric mapping data which allows its AI-driven software to measure organ inflammation with greater precision.
Earlier this year, Perspectum grabbed the first close of its Series C funding round with $36 million. The round was led by Oppenheimer Holdings.
Founder/s: Elaine Warburton, Jonathan O’Halloran
Funded year: 2008
Total funding: $53M
QuantuMDx is a medical technology company that develops a hand-held and portable low-cost diagnostic and sequencing platform capable of supporting the delivery of personalized healthcare. Among its products is the Q-POC SARS-CoV-2 Flu A/B RSV Assay, a rapid 35-minute PCR test that was useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, QuantuMDx netted a £15 million equity investment from Vita Spring IVD Fund, L.P. (“Vita Spring”), a Hong Kong-based venture capital firm.
Founder/s: Ronald Yamamoto, Tom Cavanagh
Funded year: 2014
Total funding: $57.6M
A clinical-stage retinal therapeutics company, Oxular is developing technology to transform the treatment of retinal diseases. Its innovative technologies – Oxulumis and Oxuspheres, is intended to improve patient vision and their quality of life. Recently, the company received IND (investigational new drug) clearance for OXU-001 from the FDA, which lets it advance to the Phase 2 of its clinical trials. In 2021, Oxular completed a $37 million financing round that was led by Forbion.