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Transdermal Diagnostics raises £1.1m in pre-seed round

Transdermal Diagnostics raises £1.1m in pre-seed round

Scale-Up member Transdermal Diagnotics (TD), a University of Bath medtech spin-out, has secured £1.1m to develop the world’s first 100% needle-free platform for blood sugar monitoring.

The company’s technology will allow pain-free and continuous monitoring of sugar levels for people with diabetes using affordable disposable patches. The new round of funding will be used to strengthen the company’s engineering team and prepare for clinical trials.

The funding round was led by QUBIS Innovation Fund, which specialises in innovation-focused spin-out companies, and includes Pioneer Group, Immetric, Bristol Private Equity Club, Science Angel Syndicate as well as Innovate UK funding.

Andrew Drylie from Sapphire Capital Partners LLP, Investment Manager of The Innovation Fund, said: “We are delighted to have led this investment round into Transdermal Diagnostics. The transdermal approach for glucose monitoring that Transdermal Diagnostics is developing will have a disruptive impact on the diabetes market; we are additionally excited by the company’s potential to expand into the wellness and sports nutrition industries. This funding round, alongside the Innovate UK funding, will help support them in this journey.

Founder and CEO, Dr Luca Lipani, comments, “We are excited to have on board investors with a deep understanding of the transformative potential of Transdermal Diagnostics’ technology platform. These funds will kick-start our mission to revolutionize the prevention, diagnosis and management of chronic conditions, starting with diabetes”.

Diabetes is a global health crisis currently afflicting hundreds of millions of people and is projected to rise to 783 million by 2045. Commercial sugar monitors are unpleasant, expensive, inconvenient, and cause poor disease management, exposing patients to an increased risk of developing life-threatening co-morbidities and reducing overall life expectancy.

TD is addressing this challenge by developing a wearable smart-patch for non-invasive and real-time monitoring of health biomarkers. The technology uses miniaturised biosensors to sample the fluid that bathes the living cells of the skin, in which biomarkers, including sugar, are at very similar levels to those in blood.  The patented platform features a unique multiplex architecture that uses preferential pathways in the skin to access this fluid.  A major selling point of the approach is that the amount of sugar extracted can be detected and quantified non-invasively, without puncturing or disrupting the skin, thereby avoiding any need for a blood sample or the use of needles.

Dr Adelina Ilie, Chief Scientific Officer and founder, says: “The technology required a truly interdisciplinary approach and was only made possible by the latest advances across multiple fields, such as advanced nanomaterials, nano- and biotechnology, and machine learning-driven data analysis. Scalable methods able to deliver a device like ours on a flexible platform were also essential.”

Company director and founder Prof Richard Guy adds: “The new investment provides Transdermal Diagnostics with the impetus to develop a revolutionary, affordable and needle-free sugar monitoring technology to inhibit or even arrest the progression of diabetes, enabling those living with the disease to safely and effectively manage and control their blood sugar levels.”

TD has also previously benefitted from the Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) Programme, run by SETsquared and funded by Innovate UK.

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