Dublin medtech Novus Diagnostics raises €5m for its rapid sepsis test

21 Nov 2022

From left: Novus Diagnostics CSO and co-founder Kellie Adamson, CEO Keith O’Neil, and COO and co-founder Elaine Spain. Image: Novus Diagnostics

The start-up plans to expand its team in the coming months while developing its flagship product, which can test for sepsis and get results within 15 minutes.

Irish medtech Novus Diagnostics has secured €5m in equity financing to further develop its rapid detection sepsis test.

The round was led by Grimpeur Holdings, with participation from Enterprise Ireland and the European Innovation Council (EIC). This follows €2.4m in funding from the EIC in 2020, bringing the total funds raised by the former Start-Up of the Week to €7.4m.

Sepsis is the body’s extreme immune response to an infection. Failure to diagnose and treat sepsis early can lead to septic shock, organ failure and sometimes death.

Founded by Dr Elaine Spain and Dr Kellie Adamson, Novus Diagnostics started out under the name of its flagship medical device, SepTec. This technology can test for sepsis and get results within 15 minutes.

In addition to the rapid turnaround time, the technology can also classify the type of infection the patient has.

Novus said speeding up this process enables clinicians to immediately target treatment to the pathogen causing the infection, which can save lives while reducing healthcare costs, antibiotic usage and the length of hospital stays.

The start-up’s device was dubbed the One to Watch at the 2018 Big Ideas showcase of science-led start-ups. The medtech said the technology recently delivered promising results in pilot-scale clinical studies at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

Novus Diagnostics CEO Keith O’Neill said the fresh investment is a “major boost for the company” and will be used to expand the team and accelerate its development programme.

The company currently employs 12 staff at its base in Dublin, with plans to recruit for a number of R&D, engineering, quality and regulatory roles in the coming months.

“Having the support of such experienced investors provides a significant endorsement of our mission to transform the diagnosis and management of life-threatening infections,” O’Neill said.

“Our focus now is on completing development and validation of the platform so the life-saving potential of SepTec can be realised in the clinic.”

Novus Diagnostics is also part of a cohort that received Government backing in the latest round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. It is working with researchers on a €3.3m project to develop an AI-driven patient monitoring platform combined with a diagnostic test.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic