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Kalium Health aims for home blood test for kidney patients in four years as it secures £950,000




Kalium Health has secured £950,000 in an over-subscribed seed investment round, which will help it to progress its blood electrolyte monitoring technology.

Cambridge Enterprise - the University of Cambridge’s commercialisation arm - led the round, which was also joined by Kidney Research UK, Cambridge Angels and Martlet Capital, the investment wing of Marshall of Cambridge Group.

The Kalium Health team in their Cambridge laboratory. From left, Professor Fiona Karet, chief medical officer; Tom Collings, chief executive officer, Dr Tanya Hutter, chief technology officer; Dr Liz Norgett, chief scientific officer; Dr Greg Orlowski, lead electrochemist. Picture: Melanie Yeneralski, CUH Media Studio (31492084)
The Kalium Health team in their Cambridge laboratory. From left, Professor Fiona Karet, chief medical officer; Tom Collings, chief executive officer, Dr Tanya Hutter, chief technology officer; Dr Liz Norgett, chief scientific officer; Dr Greg Orlowski, lead electrochemist. Picture: Melanie Yeneralski, CUH Media Studio (31492084)

Kalium Health - formerly Kalium Diagnostics - won the One to Watch award at the 2018 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards.

A University of Cambridge spin-out, which began with grant funding, including from Kidney Research UK, its ambition is to empower people to manage their health and wellbeing through real-time personal health information.

Its focus is on patients with kidney or heart disease, for whom blood electrolyte monitoring can prove invaluable.

Kalium’s first product is a rapid, accurate test for blood potassium concentration based on a finger-prick blood test. Enabling patients to seek treatment before complications arise, it could prevent the inconvenience and delays associated with current treatment methods and reduce healthcare costs.

Professor Fiona Karet, co-founder and chief medical officer of Kalium Health, said: “Patients in my clinic who suffer ill health due to electrolyte imbalances were asking me why it was not possible for them to manage their condition better themselves.

“I realised that a clinically accurate self-test for blood potassium concentration would be a game-changer for them and for over-burdened healthcare providers.”

With its £950,000 investment, Kalium plans to accelerate its technology and product development plans, and aims to launch its first test as an approved medical device within four years.

Tom Collings, co-founder and chief executive officer, said: “Against a backdrop of an urgent clinical need and an under-served market, we have ideally positioned ourselves to commercialise our sensing technology.

“The ongoing shift in clinical practice towards digital healthcare and precision medicine presents a huge opportunity for us to develop our personalised electrolyte monitoring technology for kidney disease.

“We now welcome a fantastic group of investors who share our vision and passion and we are excited to enter a new phase of growth of the company.”

Kalium has signed an agreement for larger laboratory and office space in Cambridge, and is recruiting engineers and technicians.

It plans to increase headcount from four to eight in the first half of 2020.

The company is also gathering information from users and healthcare providers, who are encouraged to fill in a questionnaire at kaliumhealth.com.

Kidney disease is recognised as a major global health challenge due to links with the growing problems of diabetes and hypertension, and the disproportionate cost of treatment.

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