“BeamLine’s Beeline to Bedside Biopsy Triage”
By Kayleen Brown, Associate Analyst, MedTech Strategist
Meet Liberty Foreman, PhD. Liberty is Co-founder and CEO of BeamLine Diagnostics, a London-based oncology diagnostics start-up that is developing a point-of-care (POC) biopsy triaging and stratification system, called Solas. Due to an aging workforce, lack of trainees, and an increase in demand, pathology services are becoming more expensive for providers and less accessible for patients. In addition to improving patient quality of care, Liberty and her business partner Katherine (Katie) Willetts, PhD, BeamLine’s Co-founder and CSO, believe that Solas will reduce the total number of samples within pathology by approximately 50%, alleviating current system stress. They further project that Solas will, on average, save UK healthcare providers £135 million ($172 million) each year.
Liberty met Katie while enrolled in a PhD program at University College London (UCL). After completing a three-month Wellcome Trust Program, Liberty chose to continue the project she had started on her third rotation: clinical applications of infrared spectroscopy. “Katie was also interested in the same project… and she’s a lot more biochemical and technical than me,” Liberty says. “So, we arranged it so that she would handle the more technical aspects of the job, of the PhD, and I would handle the more analytical.” Shortly thereafter, Liberty remembers “going back to the lab and saying: Katie, let’s start a company. And that was it. The next day I started doing it.” This unique pairing of contrasting skills and personalities, “like chalk and cheese” led the team to undeniable success at UCL and “was really the basis of the company too.”
The BeamLine biopsy triaging system uses infrared spectroscopy and a novel algorithm to recognize spectral patterns unique to healthy and benign samples and can separate these from all other spectral patterns with 99% certainty. As a result, healthy biopsies are quickly identified before undergoing any processing and eliminated from the histopathology pathway. The system can be installed near-patient and can be operated with minimal training, integrating easily with existing clinical workflows and causing minimal disruption.
BeamLine Diagnostics is well on its way to disrupting the current histopathology pathway after being awarded an Innovate UK SMART grant, winning a place on the international Founder.org Class of 2016 program, and reaching the finals of the OneStart Europe and Pitch@Palace 5.0 competitions. Most recently, BeamLine won a place in the prestigious MedTech Innovator 2018 Showcase and Accelerator program.
With more than £2.7 million ($3.4 million) already raised, the first £40,000 coming from Liberty’s biggest fan, her Dad, what’s next for this award-winning start-up? Clinical validation. After completing a four-site, 400-patient clinical study, Liberty’s “next milestone is to get the data from them, to analyze it, and to publish those results…to our investors and then to set up a 1,000-patient study.”
From the entire MedTech Strategist team, we offer Liberty and Katie, and the entire BeamLine Diagnostics team, congratulations and best of luck!
WATCH THE SHORT, 11-MIN VIDEO INTERVIEW ABOVE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. FOREMAN, AND HOW BEAMLINE DIAGNOSTICS IS MAKING AN IMPACT ON THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY.
Author’s Note: Beamline Diagnostics attended the MedTech Innovator Pitch Event & Stage Competition that took place this April at MedTech Strategist’s Innovation Summit Dublin, Ireland, a global medical device investment and partnering conference, as a finalist of the program. MedTech Innovator is the premier nonprofit start-up accelerator in the medical technology industry.
Have comments on this post, or suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover in the Community Blog? Email us: email@example.com.
Further Reading in MedTech Strategist:
"Technologies to Watch in 2018, Part 1," by MedTech Strategist Editorial Team
Start-Ups To Watch – "Biosensia: A Versatile, Practical Approach to Point of Care Immunoassay Diagnostics," by Wendy Diller
"Liquid Biopsies at a Tipping Point: An Interview with Exosome Diagnostics CMO Vincent O’Neill," by Wendy Diller
Diagnostics – "Point-of-Care Testing Consolidation Continues as Danaher Buys Cepheid," by Wendy Diller
Genomic Testing – "In a New Era of Medical ‘Omics,’ Shifting Roles for Molecular Pathologists, Labs and Consumers," by Wendy Diller
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