Digital health firm PneumoWave aiming to double workforce on back of £7.5m funding injection

Lanarkshire-based PneumoWave, which is behind what it says is pioneering remote patient monitoring technology that can help prevent opioid-related deaths, is targeting major expansion including doubling headcount on the back of its latest fundraise.

The business, which is headquartered at the Maxim Office Park at Eurocentral, says it aims to “transform the way patients with respiratory conditions manage their health and live their lives”. A key priority is reducing the number of deaths resulting from Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression, a condition the firm says can be fatal unless detected early.

PneumoWave chief executive and founder Dr Bruce Henderson said the business is at the series A funding stage, raising £7.5 million, which will be used to continue clinical trials – it has a pipeline of ten clinical trials that it is supporting – with filing for relevant regulatory clearances also on the agenda.

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He also said PneumoWave, which currently has 20 staff – 18 in Scotland and two in the US – is likely to double the size of its team over the 18 to 24 months of the series A phase. On the cards are 15 technical hires in the UK and three to five commercial hires in the US.

As for the high-growth potential of the latter market, Dr Henderson, a forensic medical examiner, said there are about 75,000 deaths a year in the country from accidental opioid overdoses, “and we believe the vast majority are preventable”. He added that the business’ technology is totally new, and there are two to three million patients in the US with opioid use disorder, and a further 5 million on high dose prescription opioids.

PneumoWave, which is already incorporated in the US, will initially focus on one state, yet to be confirmed, and look to open an office on the east coast. “We are in discussions with commercial partners in the US to try and drive sales when we reach the market.”

The development stage digital health company, which last year rebranded from Altair Medical, also sees strong potential in Scotland. Dr Henderson said it has had much support from the Scottish Government and the NHS in Scotland.

PneumoWave chief executive and founder Dr Bruce Henderson. Picture: Ashley Coombes/Epic Scotland.

Additionally, PneumoWave is one of angel investment syndicate Equity Gap’s investee companies. Last year it secured £2.25m of pre-series A funding, with its investor syndicate led by Alba Equity and included Equity Gap, Intuitive Investment Group, London and Scottish Investment Partners, and Scottish Enterprise.

Trials

Earlier this year PneumoWave announced that the University of Dundee was starting a clinical trial of its wearable biosensor device. That followed the news that its monitoring platform was being used in a clinical trial led by Professor Sir John Strang – a global key opinion leader on the opioid crisis, says Dr Henderson – at King’s College London.

The PneumoWave CEO stated that its offering can enable cost-effective treatment, helping tackle what is a trillion-dollar-a-year problem in the US alone. In summary, he added: “We're getting near to the exciting part where we hope that at the beginning of 2023, we will have our first clinical trials that test end-to-end overdose detection and alerting and prevention of death.

The firm's wearable biosensor device that aims to help lower opioid overdose deaths. Picture: contributed.

"We will then build on that and take that through regulatory clearance into 2024. We hope to have our product launch second half of 2024 in the UK and US.”

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