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Upfront Diagnostics secures £1.6M seed funding for rapid stroke test



Upfront Diagnostics has announced a £1.6 million seed funding round led by APEX Ventures’ Medical Fund.

The seed funding will be used to scale up the company’s blood-based diagnostic technology LVOne and its accuracy for identifying large artery strokes on real-world patients.

LVOne is a point-of-care rapid test for identifying patients suffering an acute ischaemic stroke caused by large vessel occlusion (LVO).

Gonzalo Ladreda, Co-Founder of Upfront Diagnostics, said: “With this significant funding, we are poised to transform stroke diagnosis worldwide and make a tangible impact on patient care.

“Our rapid blood test has the potential to revolutionise stroke management by providing paramedics and physicians with actionable insights in a matter of minutes, enabling them to make informed treatment decisions swiftly.

“This time-saving difference in early diagnosis could mean a 20 percent reduction in disabilities from LVO strokes.

“For every 15 minutes of earlier treatment, there is a cost-saving of over $60,000 per patient. Ultimately faster diagnosis leads to better outcomes for all.”

LVOne was validated on 270 patients at the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital in Newcastle, UK.

The technology is designed to identify LVO strokes in the ambulance so that patients can be fast-tracked to a thrombectomy-specialised hospital for treatment.

This test has been developed with the support of Innovate UK, Newcastle University, Academic Health Science Network, National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), SBRI Healthcare, the Stroke Association and NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Pooja Sikka, General Practitioner in the UK and Venture Partner at APEX Ventures Medical Fund, said: “LVOne could revolutionise the stroke care pathway globally, getting patients rapidly into stroke centres and access to interventional radiology services quickly, generating positive clinical outcomes rapidly.

“It can be a rare find in health tech to find an investment where you change outcomes so definitively, but this is one of them.”

The round follows grant funding from SBRI Healthcare in partnership with the Stroke Association, for Upfront Diagnostic’s patented.

Upfront Diagnostics is one of seven companies selected by SBRI Healthcare to receive further funding for stroke research in partnership with the Stroke Association.

The company was awarded a grant of £799,000 to support the development of prototypes and evaluation ahead of real-world implementation.

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