Over the last three years the Oxford AHSN Accelerator launchpad programme has helped more than 100 innovators start to turn their ideas into viable business ventures.
The latest intensive eight-week programme finished on 6 December when five SMEs presented their business model to a panel of experts from the NHS and industry. They included Sarah Haywood-Price, of Advanced Oxford, and Dr Guy Rooney, Oxford AHSN Medical Director, as well as investment experts from We Are Pioneer Group (WAPG) who delivered the 2021 programme.
The winners were cancer diagnostics company Oxomics. They will receive an initial £50,000 worth of business support from WAPG with the potential to double this.
Dr James Larkin, Oxomics CEO and Co-founder, said: “The accelerator process over the last eight weeks has been really helpful in shaping and refining my ideas and I’m very grateful to Oxford AHSN and WAPG for their input and support.
“At the beginning of the programme I had preconceived ideas about how Oxomics’ diagnostic technology would fit into the healthcare sector. However, as a result of some of my early conversations, I realised that some of my assumptions needed challenging and that I should be engaging a wider variety of stakeholders.”
Matthew Lawrence, Head of Industry and Innovation at Oxford AHSN, said: “We’ve had a fantastic group of innovators in this year’s Accelerator programme. The quality of the presentations on the final pitch day was testament to all of their hard work. We will continue supporting them all on the next stage of their development journeys.”
Oxomics is developing a minimally invasive, single-shot platform technology for disease diagnosis and prognosis. The technology combines analysis of metabolites present in blood samples with machine learning to identify patterns of change that indicate disease. Oxomics’ initial product to market will be a test for the detection of cancer in patients with non-specific symptoms such as fatigue or weight loss. This is an area of critical unmet need in current cancer diagnostic pathways.