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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

Health tech start-up partners with the William Harvey Research Institute to develop personalised treatment for high blood pressure

Closed Loop Medicine (CLM), the Cambridge based therapeutics company that helps doctors and healthcare providers to deliver personalised treatment regimens, has raised £1.3 million in research grant funding from the InnovateUK Innovation Accelerator, Longwall Ventures and IQ Capital. The InnovateUK Innovation Accelerator is a new scheme that enables InnovateUK to match fund a select group of company investors.

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This project enables CLM to work with clinical and technology specialists from the William Harvey Research Institute Clinical Research Centre (WHCRC), Queen Mary University of London part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Barts (BRC). The William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI) is an internationally acknowledged centre of excellence in cardiovascular research and therapeutic innovation. 

The newly secured funding will be used to support a dedicated research project at the WHCRC to support patients who have had side-effects on tablet treatments better manage and control their blood pressure. One in four adults in the UK has high blood pressure but the condition is poorly controlled in one third of these patients. Lack of management and control can lead to higher rates of heart attacks and strokes.

This project supports CLM’s long-term aim of revolutionising the treatment of blood pressure, so that all patients are well controlled, saving thousands of lives through fewer heart attacks and strokes. More recent research has indicated that better outcomes can be achieved by lowering blood pressure even more than that currently recommended by health providers.

However, by combining blood pressure measurement, drug and non-drug therapies in a closed loop via a smartphone app, CLM will demonstrate that individual treatments can be optimised for patients. The intent is to also empower patients to feel more in control of their treatment, and to be more aware of the broader factors which impact on blood pressure control. This, in turn, will relieve pressures on the NHS.

Dr David Collier, Clinical Director of the William Harvey Clinical Research Centre explained: “Some of our best blood pressure treatments work brilliantly but are used in crude doses which don’t always fit the individual patient well.  Drugs which have proven to prevent heart attack and stroke most powerfully in long term studies can cause unwanted (side) effects which stop or limit their use.  By personalising the dose of these most powerful medications we aim to show that we can reduce blood pressure more effectively.  Our patients and our TrialsConnect group, who use their stories and expertise to help us improve care, have been excited to join this project.”    

Dr Felicity Sartain, Chief Operating Officer of CLM said: “We are excited to develop this innovative trial with the William Harvey Clinical Research Centre, who have an international reputation for delivering clinical studies particularly within hypertension. The positive response and encouragement to develop and trial our product from the WHCRC team has been hugely supportive.  We are looking forward to bringing a new precision regimen to patients”.

We believe that our Closed Loop Medicine approach will have an impact on many therapeutic pathways to improve outcomes for patients. As well as developing our own products we expect to partner with pharmaceutical companies to achieve these aims. 

Dr Rebecca Todd, Investment Director, specialist health and life sciences investor at Longwall Venture Partners, said: “The InnovateUK Innovation Accelerator funding is a great vehicle to enable companies like CLM to access additional risk funding to support innovative projects at the cutting edge that may be difficult for classic investors to justify funding. We have enjoyed the process of working with InnovateUK UK on this exciting new funding programme and I look forward to seeing CLM take this project forward”.

Dr Hakim Yadi OBE, Chief Executive Officer of CLM said: “This funding will support and accelerate the development of a drug + digital regimen to treat and manage the major health condition of hypertension by developing a novel co-therapy which we intend to develop as a fully regulated, evidence-based solution for the NHS and international healthcare providers”. 

Further information