Up­stream heart­ened by $750k fundrais­ing

The Southland Times - - BUSINESS - CHRIS HUTCH­ING

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.

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