The CEO of a MedTech spin-out from Oxford University described how mentoring helped his team commercialise a new way of diagnosing heart disease.
Founded by four Oxford cardiologists, Caristo Diagnostics has developed a new test that analyses routine heart scans for signs of inflammation in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. It’s known that inflammation in the coronary arteries is a key feature in the lead up to heart attacks.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths globally – costing some $1 trillion a year to manage. In the UK alone, nearly 170,000 people die of heart and circulatory diseases every year – more than the population of Oxford.
Caristo’s technology uses artificial intelligence to analyse routine CT heart scans for signs of inflammation in the coronary arteries. It acts as an early warning system, allowing clinicians to identify patients at highest risk of having a heart attack, as early as possible. This enables them to implement appropriate risk reduction strategies.
The software is already being used by a top five pharmaceutical company in clinical trials for a novel heart drug. It is now going through regulatory approvals for launch in both the UK and the US later this year.
Over the last nine months, Caristo has been receiving mentoring support from the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) at Oxford Saïd. CDL is a seed-stage mentoring programme for science and technology-focused start-ups.
Over a series of four day-long sessions at Oxford Saïd’s campus, the founders were mentored by a group of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and business professors.