Pictured is Professor Oran Rigby, CEO and co-founder of Akkure Genomics an Irish digital health scaleup headquartered at NovaUCD. (Credit: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX).
Singularity Alpha, t/a Akkure Genomics, an Irish digital health scaleup, recently announced the launch of a €500,000 crowdfunding campaign to accelerate growth. The company, which is using the Spark Crowdfunding platform, has set itself a 35-day target to achieve its funding goal.
The company also announced the appointment of former Senator, Professor John Crown, a senior consultant medical oncologist and cancer trials expert at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, as Chair of its Medical Research Board.
Akkure Genomics, which is targeting the €60 billion global clinical trials market, was founded in 2019 by Professor Oran Rigby, a consultant in intensive care medicine and surgery, and Dr Amy Hollingworth, a respiratory and lung transplant specialist.
The company has developed a next-generation clinical trials platform, using natural language processing and artificial intelligence (AI), to provide members of the general public with a means of leveraging their personal medical data to match and access clinical trials relevant to their condition. Akkure is developing the infrastructure to allow patients partake in precision medical trials leveraging their combined genetic and clinical data for powerful personalised trial participation and therapeutics.
Simultaneously the company is deploying its patented robotic telemedicine and automated clinical consultation technology to facilitate virtual and remote trial participation allowing global access for patients.
The company, with a rapidly growing staff of 12, is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD) and has to date secured €1.6 million in funding. This funding has been secured through the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF), high-net worth medical investors and Enterprise Ireland.
Professor Oran Rigby, CEO and co-founder, Akkure Genomics said,
“We are delighted to announce the launch of our crowdfunding campaign which we have been planning for some time. This campaign provides the perfect opportunity for our medical community and patient groups to join our established investors and own a part of Akkure Genomics, in turn, owning the digital infrastructure to enable future virtual precision medical trials.”
“We also delighted that Professor John Crown, an oncology thought leader and Ireland’s foremost cancer clinical trials specialist is joining the Akkure Genomics team as the Chair of our Medical Research Board.”
Chris Burge, CEO, Spark Crowdfunding, said,
“We’re delighted to provide Irish small and medium sized investors with another high calibre investment opportunity and look forward to working with Oran and the Akkure team on this campaign. The Akkure value-proposition has the potential to be a disruptive force in the clinical trials industry globally.”
Dr Amy Hollingworth, Medical Director and co-founder, Akkure Genomics said,
“Crowdfunding is a dynamic and increasingly popular way to fundraise and it provides an opportunity to transform our active and engaged community into investors by giving them the chance to get closer to our journey and shared vision for patient centric trials than ever before.”
“We’re very excited to be working directly with our audience, partnering with them to shape the future of clinical trials, providing not only the forum for patients to influence future trials but also the ability to be rewarded, own and control the future of their illness, helping to create new therapeutics and cures.”
Akkure Genomics is looking to raise €500,000 at a pre-money valuation of €4 million. The company is EIIS approved, which means investors can reclaim 40% of their investment in the form of a tax rebate.
Last year Akkure Genomics developed and launched the COVIDMedBot, a free online COVID-19 self-assessment tool, which to date has been used by approximately 90,000 people.
In December 2019 the company, along with FutureNeuro, the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases hosted at RCSI, Microsoft Ireland and Ergo secured €3.9 million in funding through the DTIF. They secured this funding towards a €6.3 million project to develop a blockchain and AI-enabled stratified trial system which aims to better recruit and reward patients for international clinical trials and data sharing. Akkure has sole commercialisation rights for this technology project.
Equity crowdfunding allows hundreds of small and medium sized investors to purchase shares in early-stage companies. It operates in much the same way as Dragons’ Den where companies pitch for investment and the ‘crowd’ decides if it wishes to invest or not.
To date, Spark Crowdfunding has completed 15 fundraising campaigns for Irish early-stage companies since it launched in 2018. Last year, the company had a 100% success rate, with every company seeking to raise funds achieving their target. Campaign sizes have ranged from €100,000 to €800,000 with the average investment amount of €2,100. The minimum investment for this campaign is €100.
Further information on the Akkure Genomics campaign, including a short video, can be viewed via https://www.sparkcrowdfunding.com/campaign/akkure.