- Uniseed makes $500,000 investment in Cardihab, alongside Queensland Cardiovascular Group (QCG) and Artesian Capital for a total investment round of $1.35 million
- First investment by Uniseed in technology generated by partner CSIRO
Brisbane, Australia, September 19 2017: Uniseed, a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, New South Wales, Sydney, Queensland and the CSIRO, is pleased to announce an investment of $500,000 in Cardihab, a digital health company focused on remote cardiac rehabilitation.
Uniseed’s investment in Cardihab is made alongside the Queensland Cardiovascular Group (QCG), a group of Queensland Cardiologists providing state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in cardiac care. Follow on funding has also been provided by existing Cardihab shareholder Artesian Capital, with the total investment round being $1.35 million.
This is Uniseed’s first investment in technology developed at CSIRO, and is the sixth investment closed by Uniseed’s $50 million fund which launched in November 2015, backed by CSIRO and four leading Group of 8 universities.
Cardihab is a smartphone app connected to a clinic based portal, used for remote patient management following a cardiac event. The app gives clinicians the ability to deliver more convenient, flexible and engaging cardiac rehabilitation services to patients. Cardihab is proven to increase cardiac rehabilitation uptake, adherence and completion rates, meaning better outcomes for patients, clinicians and health service administrators.
Through a randomised control trial published in Nature Review – Cardiology, Cardihab was able to demonstrate there was no additional benefit for patients who receive face to face care, compared to patients whose cardiac rehabilitation was carried out by a clinician remotely.
In addition to contributing funding, QCG provides Cardihab with an extensive network of clinics, practitioners and cardiac institutions, offering strong links to end users undergoing cardiac rehabilitation, and there is potential opportunity for QCG to extend Cardihab technology beyond cardiac rehabilitation to a broader clinical market.
Cardihab was incorporated in February 2016 as the commercialisation vehicle for mobile health research at the Australian E-Health Research Centre, a national research joint venture created between CSIRO and the Queensland Government. Cardihab has also benefited from participation in accelerator programs including CSIRO ON and HCF Catalyst.
Discussing the technology, Uniseed CEO Dr Peter Devine commented, “We view Cardihab as an important advance in eHealth services, providing greater convenience to both the patient and clinician when undertaking the critical rehabilitation process following a cardiac event. Importantly, the technology’s benefits are backed by rigorous controlled trials which clearly demonstrate Cardihab’s ability to increase uptake and completion of rehabilitation programs by patients”.
“This is Uniseed’s first investment in intellectual property generated by our partner CSIRO, though we have previously invested in the Centenary Institute / University of Sydney spin-out MetabloQ Pty Ltd, where CSIRO is also a shareholder as it is responsible for the medicinal chemistry program. We are excited by the technology and its ability to deliver positive patient outcomes remotely. Furthermore, it is encouraging to have participation in this fundraising alongside QCG who know this space extremely well, and see clear opportunity for adoption of the technology and use in broader applications”.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said that Cardihab exemplified the combination of public good and economic outcomes that was at the heart of CSIRO’s Strategy 2020.
“Establishing the national science and technology accelerator ON was about creating a pathway to help scientists turn their ideas into real-world solutions for the big problems facing Australia now and in the future.
“Since completing the ON program, the Cardihab team have taken their excellent science and translated it into a breakthrough innovation that will save lives, and dollars to the Australian healthcare system, as well as creating an investment opportunity that has the potential for significant financial returns,” Dr Marshall said.
Cardihab is led by recently appointed CEO Gus Taddeo, who was formerly Managing Director of Cook Medical Australia. Uniseed will appoint Peter Devine to the Cardihab Board.
About Cardiac Rehabilitation
Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) is a medically supervised program that helps patients recover from cardiac events and reduces the risk of subsequent events. As many as two thirds of patients do not complete CR due to inconvenience of attending traditional, centre-based rehabilitation. CR has been shown to reduce unplanned cardiac readmissions by 28% to 56%, and the global CR market is estimated at $21B, with Australia representing $100M.
Uniseed is a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland, New South Wales and Sydney, as well as the CSIRO. Uniseed’s mandate is to facilitate the commercialisation of research partner generated intellectual property by targeted investment in highly promising technologies. Uniseed’s investments cover a range of technology sectors. To date, the fund has exited four investments through trade sales; a drug to treat nerve pain (Spinifex Pharmaceuticals acquisition by Novartis for US$200M up-front plus milestone payments); a drug in development to treat fibrosis (Fibrotech Therapeutics sale to Shire plc for US$75M up-front plus milestone payments), an IT security technology (Vintela sale to Quest Software Inc. for US$75M) and a semi-conductor technology (Fultec sale to Bourns Semiconductor Inc) and one investment (Hatchtech) through an asset sale to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in a deal worth $200M. A number of companies in Uniseed’s investment portfolio have products on the market (e.g. TenasiTech, BT Imaging and Smart Sparrow), while other companies are collaborating with leading global companies in their respective fields (e.g. Nexgen Plants and Q-Sera).
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