an innovation which can rapidly diagnose sepsis using bacterial DNA

November 2019

Small founding team, working from home to determine business feasibility

Informal introductions made at a University of Portsmouth networking event

Initial needs assessment and signposting provided by the Industry team

GenomeKey founders attended the 'Introduction to Funding' event hosted by the Industry team

December 2019

The GenomeKey founders attended a Health Innovation Surgery with our panel of advisors

Scoping and funding-support meeting held with the Industry team

January 2020

Market insight meeting facilitated with UHS consultant microbiologist with an interest in digital innovation – GenomeKey met a clinician in the field and toured a clinical microbiology lab to see existing processes. Follow-up from the consultant included an offer to collaborate.

Met Dr Rob Hull, the AHSN’s research and innovation associate, to refine route to academic support and introduced to National Biofilms Investigation Centre at the University of Southampton; leading to agreement to collaborate

February 2020

Site meeting at the AHSN with the Industry team to advise on CARB-X application

Attended evaluation evening event

GenomeKey attended the Innovation Clinic, hosted by the AHSN and supported by Morgan IAT

July 2020

The Industry team further supported the GenomeKey team’s SBRI application

March 2021

GenomeKey confirm the AHSN has helped them achieve funding wins, through grant application advice/support, guidance on NHS procurement of diagnostics, and connection to potential stakeholders:

Secured £350k investment

Won a £125k Innovate grant

May 2021

GenomeKey confirms the CARB-X bid was successful, with initial value of $3m and potential follow-on (subject to milestones) of additional $6.5m.

GenomeKey has now expanded to a team of eight (from two in November 2019)

“Since winning the CARB-X grant we have set up our labs in Bristol, expanded to a team of nine staff and made good early progress on our research and development. We can now set our sights on proving that the underlying technology works end-to-end and provides accurate bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, from whole blood, in a matter of hours. This will get us to our goal of saving lives and combating antimicrobial resistance.”

“The AHSN provides invaluable support to startups like GenomeKey. Through the AHSN we were able to access domain experts in the NHS and we gained a much better understanding of the patient pathway and how our technology might improve UK healthcare. The AHSNs have been supportive throughout the entire journey.”

Chris Hays, Director, GenomeKey