Cancer monitoring platform Entia secures $20m funding boost

A British healthcare company which allows patients to perform blood tests at home to aid their cancer treatment has received a $20m (£15.4m) funding shot in the arm.

Sky News understands that Entia, which has previously struck partnerships with the likes of Pfizer, the American pharmaceuticals behemoth, will announce this week the closing of a Series A fundraising.

The round was jointly led by BGF, the vehicle set up by the UK’s biggest lenders after the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to demonstrate support for small and medium-sized businesses.

Since its establishment, BGF has deployed about £3.5bn into roughly 500 companies.

The other joint lead investor is Parkwalk, a growth Enterprise Investment Scheme fund manager set up to back pioneering technologies spawned at the UK’s leading universities and research institutions.

Entia, which is described as a virtual oncology platform, is earmarking the new capital for its UK commercial rollout as well as securing regulatory approval in the US of its flagship innovation, Liberty – a remote patient monitoring system for people undergoing cancer treatment.

The company is seeking to overcome many of the entrenched challenges in cancer care, such as lengthy hospital waiting times and the detection of side effects like neutropenia, which occurs frequently in patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and renders them vulnerable to serious infections by weakening their immune systems.

“Providing more care for people outside of hospital is not only beneficial for patients but is highly advantageous for healthcare providers,” said Dr Toby Basey-Fisher, founder and chief executive of Entia.

“Such an approach allows us to move routine health assessments out of healthcare centres and also drives a more preventative model of healthcare where problems are identified and addressed early on.

“This is about enhancing patient care by keeping people on treatment longer, reducing unplanned hospitalisations and ultimately improving survival outcomes.”

In 2017, Entia raised just over £1m from Innovate UK, the government-backed research body.

It has also been a member of Microsoft’s Accelerator programme created to assist promising start-ups.

“We have been consistently impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the Entia team to significantly improve remote monitoring solutions for cancer patients,” said Joanna Smart, portfolio lead at BGF.

“This combined with their scientific acumen has created a uniquely user-friendly means of monitoring vital health information with the dual power to transform quality of life and drive efficiencies for healthcare providers.”

Neil Cameron, investment director at Parkwalk Advisors, said: “Cancer patient numbers are increasing and we need to embed and capitalise on innovative technologies to ensure our healthcare systems have the resources and capacity to give everyone that needs it the best chance of beating this terrible disease.”

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