Global: Early stage medtech funding given boost in Asia


The National University Health System via its Centre for Innovation in Healthcare and Asia Research & Innovation Alliance

Last week’s early-stage healthcare funding was very much focused on Asia.

The highlight of the week was the news that The National University Health System (NUHS) via its Centre for Innovation in Healthcare (CIH) and Asia Research & Innovation Alliance (ARIA) have set up a new S$50m (US$36.6m) venture capital fund and commercialisation programme to open more doors for medtech innovators, in Singapore and across Asia-Pacific.

“Driving innovations to clinical adoption is no easy feat but our CIH team will be here to walk the arduous journey with you,” said Rina Lim, head of CIH, on LinkedIn.

Staying in Singapore, ABM Respiratory Care, a medical device company focused on developing novel integrated airway clearance and ventilation solutions, has raised US$10.3m in Series A funding.

The round was led by Advanced MedTech Holdings, a global medical technology leader, and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore.

Funds raised will be used to advance the company’s commercialisation plans in the US.

At the same time, the company announced the appointment of Peter Soderberg as chairman. Currently chairman of medical device company Tactile Medical, Soderberg spent 18 years on the board of Integer Holdings. He previously held executive positions at Johnson and Johnson in a variety of operations, marketing and management roles, including president of Johnson & Johnson Health Management.

“I’m excited to work with ABM to advance the standard of care in treating chronic and acute respiratory diseases and conditions with their innovative solutions, particularly as they now seek to rapidly establish their US presence,” said Soderberg.

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Staying in Asia, Shanghai-based robotic startup Fourier Intelligence has raised Rmb100m (US$15m) in Series C funding.

The round was led by Vision Plus Capital as well as existing investor Shenzhen’s Qianhai Fund.

Founded in 2015, Fourier sells physical rehabilitation equipment and robots to hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and research institutes. Funds raised will be used for robotic R&D.

In Europe, Nordic digital therapeutics company Sidekick Health has completed a US$20m oversubscribed Series A financing round led by Wellington Partners and Asabys Partners, through its fund SAHII, with participation by existing investors Novator and Frumtak Ventures.

Sidekick specialises in the creation of gamified digital therapeutic solutions and programmes, transforming chronic and lifestyle disease management across multiple therapeutic areas, ranging from diabetes to ulcerative colitis and smoking cessation.

“The healthcare landscape has shifted significantly this year as a direct result of Covid-19, accelerating the adoption and demand for digital health solutions. We have grown our customer base sharply in recent months, adding new partnerships with global pharmaceutical firms and leading US-based healthcare organisations,” said Sidekick chief executive officer and co-founder Tryggvi Thorgeirsson.

Sidekick said that it will use the funds for development and validation into new therapeutic areas, to drive product development forward to increase its lead in patient engagement and retention, and to position itself further as the preferred provider to expand pharmacotherapies, thereby improving health outcomes.



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