Ten innovative startups, operating at the intersection of data and biomedical science, have been selected to take part in the KQ Labs accelerator programme.
The new cohort consists of companies looking to tackle a diverse range of health challenges and diseases, including drug discovery, mental health, neurology and cancer, as well as women’s health and antimicrobial drug resistance.
From development of coaching software to help neurodiverse children and teenagers manage their needs across education, health and social care, to producing XR digital therapeutics for Parkinson's and other neurological disorders, the companies are all working at the forefront of data application in health.
The companies will be offered a tailored curriculum over 5 months, consisting of weekly workshops and access to personalised mentoring and coaching. They will also benefit from funding in the form of a convertible loan, and introductions to key investors and major corporations.
KQ Labs is run by the Francis Crick Institute and funded by the medical research charity LifeArc and in partnership with Cancer Research Horizons, the innovation engine of Cancer Research UK. The programme is open to early-stage start-ups using software and data science as a core part of their business model to improve human health.
Operating since 2018, this is the 5th cohort for KQ Labs, which has already supported over forty companies with the help of many partners. Companies previously supported by the accelerator have made great strides, with a combined portfolio value of £174m.
Barbara Domayne-Hayman, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Crick and KQ Labs Chair, said: “It’s fantastic to see the vibrancy of the UK data driven health start-up ecosystem through the number and quality of exciting start-ups applying to KQ Labs.
“However, the early stages remain challenging to navigate for start-ups and the KQ Labs accelerator aims to provide much needed support to help the companies to become investment-ready, and also to encourage investors to invest earlier.”
Mandeep Dhillon, lead for the KQ Labs accelerator, said: “KQ Labs continues to go from strength to strength as exemplified by the quality of applicants, the rigorous debate by our illustrious selection panels and the calibre of Cohort 5.0. The diversity in the application of data science to health challenges is exciting to witness as this emerging field takes root”.
“Globally, we are on the cusp of significant transformation where data science will upgrade our ability to discover new drugs, diagnose diseases earlier and quicker as well as improving the quality of life of patients with chronic disease. This will create significant opportunities for the UK in terms of improved patient outcomes, economic growth opportunities and attractive STEM careers.”
Dr Karen Skinner, Chief Project & Portfolio Officer at LifeArc and member of the KQ Steering Board, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the KQ Labs accelerator for a third year and to be working with the Crick to build a world-class cluster of data-driven health start-ups in the UK.”
“KQ Labs continues to deliver impact in the UK data driven health ecosystem and is a great example of how LifeArc strategically combines translational funding and translational advice to accelerate early innovations towards improving patient outcomes. Working with the Crick and Cancer Research Horizons, we can support these promising data-driven health start-ups to create solutions to help more patients faster.”
The latest KQ Labs cohort includes the following innovative early-stage data-driven health start-ups:
- CardiaTec BioSciences Ltd: CardiaTec is a University of Cambridge spin-out, pioneering in cardiovascular drug discovery with its AI-driven multi-omics drug target discovery platform.
- CareLoop Health Ltd: Digital therapeutics to predict and prevent relapse in severe mental illness.
- Cogs: Cogs is a digital coach to help neurodiverse teenagers live happier lives.
- Crossr: The Operating System for Knowledge Graph based Drug Discovery.
- Cytecom Ltd: Cytecom is on a mission to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by electrocuting bacteria to detect live cells and provide AMR profiles at the point-of-care, informing the correct targeted antimicrobial therapy sooner than any other test.
- Dama Health Ltd: Dama Health is on a mission to personalise contraception and other areas of female health by leveraging technology and genomics.
- Proxximos Limited: Next generation digital contact tracing, delivering a step change in infection control for any setting.
- RareCan Limited: RareCan is the only health tech company in the UK that specialises in supporting patients with rare cancers.
- StoreGene: One test, infinite insights: StoreGene's Clinical Genomic Operating System enables rapid translation of genetic research to genomic insights for data driven precision medicine.
- Strolll: Strolll develops digital therapeutics (DTx) software for augmented reality glasses that empowers movement therapy for people living with neurological disorders.