Captain AI: £2.6m raised to develop rapid diagnostic technology


Oxford University spin-off company develops technology to identify viruses in seconds

OxDX has raised £2.6m in pre-seed funding for its AI-powered diagnostics technology. The method can recognize and identify specific species and strains of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens in a sample within seconds.

OxDX is a spin-off from the University of Oxford developing instant pathogen testing using super-resolution microscopy and machine learning.

Seed funding for the technology is co-led by IQ Capital and Ahren Innovation Capital, with participation from Science Creates Ventures. This funding will be used to expand the team and further validate the technology with development partners.

“Our ability to take a sample from someone with an unknown infection and answer the open question ‘what does she have?’ in a minute is a game-changer for the diagnosis and treatment of infections,” said Alex Batchelor, CEO of OxDX. “We will start with respiratory viruses and expand from there. At the same time, we will simplify the workflow to move testing from the lab to point-of-care, which will represent a step change in the availability and cost of infectious disease diagnostics globally.

OxDX’s AI diagnostics uses new universal labeling technology, combined with machine learning analysis in a neural network, to identify specific pathogens causing infection. This process takes place quickly, in just a few seconds. Using this technology, the team is able to identify respiratory viruses in clinical samples and – in the case of COVID-19 and influenza viruses – directly identify the strain.

Dr. Joanna Green, Director of Ahren Innovation Capital, said, “We look forward to working with the OxDX team to unlock the full potential of their technology, operating at the intersection of machine learning and microscopy, applied to diagnosis. This type of transformative technology can have a huge positive impact on the world. »

The company aims to develop an ultra-fast analysis platform that can quickly adapt to many diseases via simple software updates. This aims to improve the cost and access to infectious disease diagnostics worldwide.

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