Optellum raises US$14M in funding round to commercialize lung cancer diagnostic platform

UNITED KINGDOM – Optellum Ltd. UK-based medtech company that provides an AI platform to diagnose and treat early-stage lung cancer has raised US$14 million in a series A funding round to commercialize its artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled lung cancer diagnostic platform.

The round was led by Mercia, with participation from Intuitive Ventures, Black Opal Ventures, St John’s College in the University of Oxford, IQ Capital, and the family office of Sir Martin & Lady Audrey Wood.

The funds will be used to expand the company’s base, operations, and commercial launches in the UK and the US, as well as to accelerate research and development and expand its platform into personalized therapy decisions by integrating imaging data with molecular data, robotics, and liquid biopsies.

Along with the funding, each of the investors brings unique medtech expertise to the table. Mercia brings expertise in software technology with a global impact, while Intuitive Ventures was founded to accelerate the future of minimally invasive healthcare treatments.

Black Opal Ventures, which is led by physicians, is also located at the intersection of healthcare and technology.

Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer and the leading cause of death from cancer worldwide.

For instance, lung cancer kills approximately 150,000 people in the United States and 1.8 million people worldwide each year.

The current global five-year survival rate is very low at 20%, owing to the fact that most patients are diagnosed after symptoms appear and the disease has progressed to an advanced stage (Stage III or IV).

Small tumors treated at Stage 1A, on the other hand, have a survival rate of up to 90%. This disparity highlights the critical importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Combating cancer necessitates early detection. Early detection allows doctors to make critical early interventions and improve patient outcomes, giving patients a fighting chance.

Oxford-based Optellum is making a breakthrough in this field by using AI to develop lung cancer prediction software.

This platform can assist physicians in identifying and tracking at-risk patients, as well as optimally diagnosing the signs of lung cancer early, allowing treatment to begin sooner for patients with tumors and reducing invasive procedures such as biopsies on benign lesions.

Optellum’s Virtual Nodule Clinic, which helps physicians identify and monitor patients at risk of lung cancer, has received US FDA clearance, CE-MDR in the European Union, and UKCA in the UK.

The startup, which was founded in 2015, has now received €14 million (US$14 million) to accelerate the development of its technology and prepare for international expansion.

In addition, the company has strategic collaborations with GE Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson’s Lung Cancer Initiative to accelerate clinical deployments and advance the platform.

Optellum’s solution is being used to predict at-risk lung nodules in a multi-center study with NHS Trusts in the United Kingdom as part of a large investment in AI for healthcare.

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