Oxford medical imaging company Brainomix, which is using artificial intelligence (AI) for fast diagnosis and treatment, has raised £16 million to fund expansion into new markets and therapeutic areas, including lung fibrosis and cancer.
This investment will build on the company’s tech platform in stroke and enable pharmaceutical partnerships to improve clinical trial success, foster broader adoption of existing therapies in the new indications, and improve patient outcomes.
The financing was co-led by existing investors Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and Parkwalk Advisors, along with new investor, the Chinese Tencent Holdings, and included participation from Oxford University Innovation Fund (OUIF).
Brainomix has pioneered the development of an AI platform that automates validated imaging biomarkers to improve both diagnosis and treatment decisions. Its e-Stroke platform is, it claims, the world’s most comprehensive stroke imaging solution and is already widely adopted in multiple healthcare systems worldwide. The platform is the market leader in Europe and has been deployed across the UK as part of a prestigious NHSX AI in Health & Care Award granted in 2020*. It is installed in hundreds of hospitals across Europe, US, South America, Asia where it has been clinically proven to drive faster treatment times and improve functional independence for stroke patients.
(*The NHS AI Lab facilitates collaboration by bringing together programmes which address significant barriers to development and deployment of AI systems in health and care)
Alastair Kilgour, Chief Investment Officer at Parkwalk Advisors, said: “Over the past decade Brainomix has created the market for stroke AI imaging. As a spin-out from the University of Oxford it is an example of the UK’s world-leading strengths in life sciences and AI-enabled medtech, combining expertise in clinical care and software development with more than 150 years’ experience in the field across its leadership team.”
The funds will also enable the company to drive into new therapeutic areas beyond stroke by developing novel imaging biomarkers for better treatment of lung fibrosis and cancer, which have similar unmet needs to stroke.
Over the years, Brainomix has formed a number ofpartnerships, including with Stryker Neurovascular in EMEA, Wallaby Medical in China, and the Angels Initiative, a global organisation focused on stroke care improvement. The company will build on this strong track record with a renewed focus on pharma partnerships, with an opportunity to embed Brainomix’s state-of-the-art technology in clinical trials to improve and accelerate clinical trial success, and ultimately achieve broader adoption.
Dr Oliver Reuss, Executive Director and Investment Manager of the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF), the corporate venture fund of the global pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, a driving force in the field of stroke, said:
“Brainomix has proven its ability to deliver scalable AI-imaging solutions that have already delivered value to pharma & device partners in stroke. This financing will support the company not only to continue its market penetration for e-Stroke but will enable it to develop new AI-imaging solutions for lung conditions and to develop innovative solutions with partners that can contribute to transforming patients’ lives by increasing treatment rates and improving success in clinical trials.”
Dr Michalis Papadakis, Brainomix Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, added: “We welcome Tencent as a highly experienced new investor and thank Parkwalk and BIVF, as well as OUIF, for their continuing support. This investment round attracted substantial interest, as it was clear we are at a very exciting juncture in our development and poised for substantial growth. This investment will allow us to grow our team, both at our Oxford site as well as globally, to support our plans for continual healthcare innovation and best-in-class technological development.”
Chair of Brainomix Prof. Jackie Hunter CBE FMedSci FBPharmacolS FRSB, said:“AI is transforming healthcare in multiple ways. Brainomix has a robust track record of delivering innovative AI solutions and is committed to positively impacting treatment rates and patient outcomes. Its e-Stroke technology is already impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of stroke patients worldwide and, with this new investment, it has the opportunity to apply its expertise in new therapeutic areas and to scale its business model to share in the value created for pharma.”
Brainomix was spun out from the University of Oxford in 2010. Its e-Stroke platform provides clinicians with the most comprehensive stroke imaging solution, driving faster treatment times and improving functional independence for patients.