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‘Smart pill’ creator gains new funding

Published on 31/07/14 at 08:40am
Proteus digital pill

Proteus Digital Health has raised $172 million to help develop its new brand of smart pills that can help patients take their medications correctly and monitor vital signs.

This is the second round of funding that the US health and tech firm has managed to secure and comes after it raised $120 million from the first round of funding in June.

The money, from a number of international backers, will enable the company to advance the manufacturing and commercialisation of its digital medicines, it says in a statement.

The company is already working with a number of major drugmakers, including Novartis and Otsuka.

Andrew Thompson, president and chief executive of Proteus Digital Health, says: “The digital health market is rapidly forming. Investor confidence in Proteus is driven by customer excitement, our superior board and leadership team and a unique technology platform that enables us to link one of the most valuable industries of the 20th Century – pharmaceuticals – to the most important utility of the 21st: the mobile internet.”

Proteus is one of a number of firms developing so-called digital medicines, a new brand of pharmaceuticals that integrate medicines with ingestible, wearable, mobile and cloud computing.

The aim, according to Proteus, is to help deliver tech and health solutions that enable patients, their families and doctors to make more informed decisions about health.

In addition to telling doctors if patients are taking their medicines properly, the tiny sensors can also monitor vital signs, such as heart rate.

Proteus’ Helius product, designed to tell patients and carers whether medicines have been taken, has already been sold in the UK. 

Earlier this year the California-based group also announced it was establishing its first international manufacturing site in Britain.

Research group Frost & Sullivan earlier this year predicted a surge in smart pills, with a peak in new products between 2018 and 2020 as technological advances in minimally invasive and remote-controlled devices drive the market.

Ben Adams

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