Upstream heartened by $750k fundraising
Upstream Medical Technologies has developed technology that could reduce hospital admissions of patients presenting with chest pain by nearly half.
Chief executive Dr Ruth Appleby said the Christchurch company had completed fundraising of $750,000 in a record four days with the help of seed investment company Pacific Channel.
Appleby said the technology would help identify potential damage to the heart before it happened.
The new diagnostic tool came from research developed at the University of Otago’s Christchurch Heart Unit.
It allows doctors to determine which patients are suffering from unstable angina that will almost certainly lead to a heart attack, as opposed to those with chest pain who don’t need to be admitted.
Patients with unstable angina require immediate treatment to avoid heart attack and associated muscle damage.
The money just raised was the first in efforts to seek $5 million to fund clinical trials in Europe that would help secure regulatory approvals for the technology.
The fundraising will be led by United Kingdom-based investment company Innovator Capital.
Appleby said the tool had huge global potential. In the United States, 8 million people arrive with chest pain at hospitals each year, but only one in eight have a lifethreatening risk of heart attack.
The researchers behind the tool are the same people responsible for identifying the current standard biomarkers of heart failure. This is the first technology they have patented themselves.
The tool also has the potential to save millions of dollars. Appleby estimated that in the US it would equate to about $6.7 billion a year.
The shareholders in Upstream include Otago University (51 per cent), Powerhouse Ventures (19 per cent), NZ Investment Fund (10 per cent, with smaller percentages held by other investors including the researchers.