Heart attack or chest pain? Take this diagnostic test and find out
Upstream Medical Technologies has developed a biomarker-based diagnostic test to rule out the risk of imminent heart attack for the significant number of people presenting at hospital with chest pain. The test is designed to identify those patients who are suffering from unstable angina — who must receive immediate treatment in order to avoid a heart attack and subsequent heart muscle damage — as opposed to chest pain from other causes.
In the United States, eight million people arrive at emergency departments each year with chest pain, but only one in eight have a life-threatening actual or imminent heart attack. This poses a real challenge for doctors to diagnose, resulting in time-consuming repeat tests and unnecessary admissions.
By providing hospitals with a diagnostic to rule out unstable angina, Upstream expects hospital admissions of chest pain patients could be reduced by up to 40%, which could save the global health sector substantial sums. As noted by Upstream CEO Dr Ruth Appleby, this would equate to up to US$6.7 billion a year in the United States alone.
The company is now planning a trial of 1000 patients at multiple international clinics which is designed to secure regulatory approvals for the technology in the US and Europe, providing clinical validation of its technology. The trial will be funded through a $5 million Series A capital raise, which will be led by UK investment bank Innovator Capital and is expected to launch later this year.
If results from the company’s last capital raise are anything to go by, the upcoming trial could very well be funded earlier than expected. Upstream announced on 13 November that it had completed a fully oversubscribed capital raise, with investors committing NZ$750,000 within four days of opening. Auckland-based investment firm Pacific Channel led the investment into the company, investing over 20% and underwriting the remainder of the offer.
Upstream is particularly keen to hear from strategic investors that could also play a role in advancing its clinical trials, according to Dr Appleby, such as hospital administration funds, health insurance companies, corporates in cardiovascular disease and high net-worth investors with an interest in cardiac care.
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