When Jupiter Diagnostics CEO Chris Ball worked as a doctor, he discovered that an urgent blood test usually meant waiting around for hours to get a result – and this was in a busy hospital. While working at Johnson & Johnson, he saw how rapid blood glucose testing could empower patients and accelerate clinical decision-making.
However, no rapid and accurate blood testing was widely available, so he began to look for technology which could deliver high-quality affordable blood testing anywhere. The result is Jupiter Diagnostics.
Jupiter’s development is based on the theory that clinic-based doctors lack ready access to reliable blood tests; currently, they must send the patient, or a blood sample, to a lab and then wait days to receive basic results. With 40 patents granted, Jupiter is looking to build a hospital lab in the palm of your hand, delivering up to eight test results in ten minutes from a single fingerprick of blood at a third of the cost. Jupiter’s diagnostic reader aims to cut out unnecessary time, cost and worry for patients everywhere.
For medical professionals and patients alike, this could reduce paperwork and save time, thereby giving doctors the ability to diagnose and treat patients faster. For national health systems and insurers, this new technology has the potential to lower costs and reduce pressures resulting from waiting times and multiple patient visits. Jupiter has created a works-like/looks-like prototype and has a commercial reader under development.
Jupiter’s difference is that its solution has been developed from the start with the needs of the market in mind. After assessing more than 100 different technologies against these needs, the company has sourced and combined two mature technologies to help create a robust, low-cost and easy-to-use testing hardware solution, and plans to launch its first products in 2017.
The funding from this round will be used to develop additional tests and build sales of its first products.
The lead investor
Paul Foulger, lead investor for this round, has invested £25,000 into the company.
I am a firm believer in keeping the operational gearing of an early-stage company as low as possible, for as long as possible, and then gearing up as and when milestones are achieved and value is created.
I nearly always invest in companies that I am a director of; I find it hypocritical presenting to potential investors when I have not made a personal commitment myself. I firmly believe in the directors aligning their risk/reward profiles with external investors.
Paul Foulger, lead investor
Paul is a qualified certified accountant with extensive public and private company experience, having been Finance Director at First Africa Oil plc, Cielo Holdings plc, Elsevier Science, Orogen Gold plc and Porta Communications plc, amongst others.
He jointly led a management buyout of Hansard Group plc in 2004 and managed the buyout of Autoclenz Ltd from the AIM-listed Autoclenz plc in 2012.
Up until December 2015, Paul was CFO at AIM-listed EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc, the global point-of-care medical diagnostics business which has more than 80,000 haemoglobin, A1C, glucose and lactate analysers in regular use in more than 100 countries, running more than 50m tests every year.
Paul is currently CFO at NovaBiotics Ltd, a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the design and development of first-in-class anti-infectives for difficult-to-treat, medically unmet diseases; its current portfolio includes an orphan drug candidate for cystic fibrosis and a potential step change therapy for onychomycosis. He is also a Non-Executive Director for Arcis Biotechnology, a private company focused on providing nucleic acid sample prep solutions, and Autoclenz, the number one service provider to the automative industry.
Paul holds an MBA from Warwick Business School.
What investors say
'It is very encouraging, now that we are at the stage of development of our system where we can more actively engage with potential customers, that they quickly understand the benefits, including financial, that our technology will deliver to them. This bodes well that a successful outcome of commercialisation will be achieved.'
– George Cautherley, owner of diagnostic businesses in Europe and Asia, and Jupiter's largest shareholder