Every year some 65,000 people across the world will have their lives improved by a kidney transplant, including 27,000 in Europe. Sadly, hundreds of patients die on the waiting list each year in the UK, and around 1,500 new patients are added every year. Patients awaiting organ transplants die on the waiting list whilst organs are discarded due to criteria decided decades ago. Accunea addresses this disparity to make available more organs for transplant and reducing the numbers of deaths due to increasing waiting list times.
The company address two clinical challenges:
1. 245 patients died on the UK waiting list in 2017/18 while 268 donated kidneys were discarded. Evidence shows half of these are likely viable but there are no objective means to assess them pre-operatively.
2. Problems with graft care in the days immediately following transplantation determine risk of early failure and organ lifespan. Clinicians have to make critical care decisions with minimal data. 30% of patients experience delayed graft function, 2% undergo repeat exploratory surgery, and 6% of organs fail in the first month. Pancreatic transplantation can cure diabetes, and simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation can cure ESRF and diabetes simultaneously. But this only benefits 200 patients each year at present because of high organ discard/decline rates and lack of objective data providing confidence to grow the practice.
Accunea has invented a miniature analysis device which continuously monitors markers of kidney function and metabolism using just a standard drip line placed into a vein. From these chemical traces we can use artificial intelligence software to detect and predict any changes in a patient's kidney function earlier than ever before, and automatically warn doctors of any problems.
The company is raising £400,000 (will oversubscribe to £500,000) at £2,230,000 pre-money valuation. The management projects that raised funds will allow Accunea to make minimal viable product sales.