(English) Siberian startup raises $4.5 million for alternative tuberculosis, cancer and HIV treatment technology

21 февраля 2019

(English) In late January a Russian government fund injected 305 million rubles (around $4.5 million at the current exchange rate) in Personal Medication & Health Management (PM&HM), a Novosibirsk, Siberia-based company that has developed a new approach to tuberculosis, cancer and HIV treatments.

Founded by researchers from the local branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, PM&HM has designed a “nano-inhaler” that “reduces the side-effects of the drugs” used for such treatments. As part of the system, a telemedical platform has been developed for physicians to monitor patients’ health.

With its built-in fingerprint identifier and the active substance of its cartridge, the PM&HM inhaler can determine who uses the device and the dose of drug required. As the substance is absorbed by the patient, the device will send data to a mobile app.

The mobile app, which reminds the patient about the time of intake, can be used to contact the doctor more easily. The data received from patients and physicians can be collected, stored and analyzed in the cloud.

The inhaler can “replace the intake of a number of heavy drugs in chemotherapy programs,” says PM&HM.

The Siberian company – which has offices in Moscow and Basel, Switzerland – plans to launch its product commercially next year. The price of the inhaler should range from $75 to $300.

Furthermore, the startup hopes that its inhaler could be “used in 30% of Russia’s state hospitals and medical establishments by 2025,” according to statements made to the media.

PM&HM raised $3,4 million in November 2017 from the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, or FRII in Russian), Russia’s main startup investment fund. The latest capital injection came from the National Technology Initiative Support Fund, a specialized fund of RVC, the Russian state-owned fund of funds.

Launched in 2014 following a presidential initiative and heavily supported from state coffers, the National Technology Initiative aims to “create fundamentally new markets” and “the conditions for Russia’s global technological leadership by 2035.”

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