Presymptom Health developing AI-driven sepsis and infection tests for the NHS

UK start-up Presymptom Health has raised £1.5m to help accelerate time to market of its AI-driven sepsis and infection tests - with the company aiming to roll-out its technology to the NHS from mid-2025.

Presymptom’s infection test was recently earmarked by the UK Government as a ‘breakthrough’ medical device under its £10m Innovative Devices Access Programme.

The funding round includes investment from UKI2S, an investment fund that provides seed funding to science and technology start-ups and SMEs, Ploughshare, the company that finds new and inspiring uses for government inventions and MedtechToMarket. Innovate UK provided additional funds through an Investor Partnership Grant.

The funding will help accelerate product development, support clinical trial activity and allow the company to secure UKCA accreditation by mid-2025. As well as entering the UK market, Presymptom also plans to break into the global infectious disease diagnostics market that is estimated to be worth USD 31.5 billion by 2028 and the global sepsis diagnostics market which is projected to reach USD 1.4 Billion by 2030.

Presymptom Health’s technology provides early and reliable information about infection status and severity in patients with non-specific symptoms, helping doctors make better treatment decisions. The company’s tests can be run on NHS PCR platforms, which were widely deployed during the COVID pandemic and are now often under-utilised. By detecting true infection and sepsis earlier, it’s possible to save lives and significantly reduce the incorrect use of antibiotics.

When it comes to sepsis, Presymptom’s technology could revolutionise treatment. According to The UK Sepsis Trust, every three seconds, someone in the world dies of sepsis. In the UK alone, 245,000 people are affected by sepsis with at least 48,000 people losing their lives in sepsis-related illnesses every year. When diagnosed at a late stage, the likelihood of death increases by 10% for every hour left untreated. Yet, for many patients, with early diagnosis it is easily treatable.

Dr Iain Miller, CEO of Presymptom Health, said: “We’re confident that our first product can play a big part in tackling AntiMicrobial Resistance (AMR), which has been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the top 10 global public health threats. By understanding the presence, or absence, of infection as early as possible, doctors can be more confident in their diagnosis and avoid unnecessarily prescribing antibiotics - something that is a growing concern in the NHS and globally.

“This funding round will help us enter the market by 2025 and, ultimately, save lives sooner. We will initially roll-out in the UK and have plans for the US and beyond in the following years. We are hoping to raise further funds over the course of this year and next to accelerate our plans even more.”

The science behind Presymptom’s technology is based upon 10-years’ of work conducted at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and originated from £16 million of sustained Ministry of Defence investment in a programme of research designed to help service personnel survive infection from combat injuries. The company was created by scientists working at government laboratories, initially researching how to tackle biological threat infection, such as anthrax, plague and ebola, all of which can cause death from sepsis. Ploughshare - the company that finds new and inspiring uses for government inventions - identified the innovation as having potential societal impact and spun it out from the UK Ministry of Defence in 2019.

The technology is currently undergoing clinical trials at nine NHS hospitals in the UK, with results anticipated later in 2024. In addition, Presymptom is working on additional UK and EU trials.


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