• Living With, Macusoft, Mendelian and NeutroCheck have been announced as the selected companies for the Novartis BIOME UK HealthHub 21 Challenge, in collaboration with KQ Labs and LifeArc.
  • The HealthHub runs annually through the Novartis BIOME UK and provides start ups with a wealth of support, including mentoring, networking opportunities, access to commercial and healthcare masterclasses, investor meetings, as well as an option for up to £50,000 funding from LifeArc.
  • Through its support for health tech start-ups, Novartis UK is reaffirming its commitment to supporting the development of digital and data driven healthcare solutions to help the healthcare system to build back better.

London, UK. July 14, 2021: Novartis UK has today announced the selected companies for the Novartis BIOME UK HealthHub 21 Challenge, in collaboration with KQ Labs, the data-driven health accelerator of the Francis Crick Institute, and LifeArc, the charity helping to turn promising science into benefits for patients.

Out of a wide field of applications across the smartest and brightest the UK health-tech eco-system has to offer, the selected start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be supported as part of the BIOME UK HealthHub 21 cohort to develop and scale their concepts to digitise patient pathways and advance remote care, helping to address the core challenges of the NHS at this time.

Chinmay Bhatt, Managing Director of Novartis UK, Ireland & Nordics and Country President UK, comments: “At Novartis UK, we are dedicated to supporting the NHS in building back better from the pandemic, especially through the uptake of digital solutions to improve service delivery, research outputs and the overall patient experience.

“This year’s selected BIOME UK HealthHub companies are developing solutions with the potential to drive real change for the healthcare system and for patients. I am looking forward to joining them on their journeys and seeing the measurable benefits they will bring to the NHS and patients over the coming months and years”.

The four selected companies are Living With, Macusoft, Mendelian and NeutroCheck. Read more about each company below:

Living With

Living With is a cutting-edge platform that consists of an app for patients, a clinician portal to monitor that patient and support faster interventions and a third-party dashboard for the management of multiple clinics and to access to aggregated and anonymised data. Living With enables clinicians to intervene in real-time to prevent further condition deterioration and to optimise individual treatment.


Macusoft is an artificial intelligence (AI) clinical decision support system for the optimal management of sight-threatening macular disease, the leading cause of sight loss in the developed world. By standardising outcomes, delivering clinical efficiency and enabling workforce expansion, Macusoft improves the quality of eye care and can be deployed rapidly at scale across health systems to alleviate the overburden in eye departments and reduce unnecessary sight loss.


MendelScan is an expert-guided, algorithm-based platform that brings early disease identification and timely patient insights to healthcare providers. MendelScan’s digital library includes case finding criteria for rare and hard-to-diagnose diseases, ready to apply to any medical record system. The MendelScan platform from Mendelian will support clinicians to diagnose their patients as early as possible in order to maximise treatment outcomes.


NeutroCheck is an innovative device that helps to rapidly identify chemotherapy patients who are at risk of a life-threatening complication called neutropenic sepsis. Through improving triaging, Neutrocheck has the potential to save thousands of lives, free up valuable healthcare resources, and make patients’ lives easier, simpler, and better.

Living With, Macusoft, Mendelian and NeutroCheck will receive unrivalled mentoring, networking opportunities and sustainable investments from the Novartis BIOME UK, KQ Labs and LifeArc. In addition, participating companies will be supported to establish ongoing relationships with the wider health-tech ecosystem, the NHS and Novartis at the end of the programme. Each company offers solutions that aim to address the needs of the time in the healthcare system.

This year’s BIOME UK HealthHub participants will be speaking about their solutions and initial experiences of the HealthHub 21 programme at a live demo webinar in September 2021.

Konrad Dobschuetz, Head of Digital Innovation and BIOME Lead at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, said: “The BIOME UK team is absolutely delighted to welcome the four companies into the family and we are looking forward to making things happen with them. The Novartis BIOME UK has established itself as an entity for innovation in the UK health-tech sector and as a catalyst for impactful digital collaboration, dedicated to partnering with the best in the ecosystem. 

“We are very grateful for the collaboration with KQ Labs and LifeArc and the support received so far. We thank all companies that applied for this year’s HealthHub, showcasing the smartest and brightest the UK health-tech sector has to offer”.

Andrew Farquharson, Executive Director of LifeArc, comments: “The entries displayed a tremendous breadth and depth of ideas, underlining the potential of digital and data-led innovations to improve healthcare. As LifeArc is a charity helping to progress early-stage ideas into tangible health benefits, it will be fascinating to see the four winners develop and scale up their promising innovations”.

Barbara Domayne-Hayman, Entrepreneur in Residence and lead for KQ Labs at the Francis Crick Institute, said: “We have greatly enjoyed working with Novartis and LifeArc on the selection process and were impressed by the number and quality of the applications, which provide a window into some of the exciting developments happening in digital health. We look forward to working with the selected companies”.

Veronique Birault, Director of Translational Science at the Francis Crick Institute, said: “We are delighted with the collaboration with Novartis through KQ Labs, joining forces to support the healthtech start-up ecosystem, and we look forward to growing the relationship between Novartis and the Crick”.

 – Ends – 

Novartis UK Media Relations
Novartis UK Press Office
Tel: 07771 541 379 / 01276 698 691
E-Mail: press.office@novartis.com

As published by Novartis on 14 July, 2021

Notes to editors

About Novartis 

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 130,000 people of nearly 150 nationalities work at Novartis around the world.

In the UK, we employ approximately 1,500 people to serve healthcare needs across the whole of the UK, as well as supporting the global operations of Novartis. Since 2014, Novartis has invested over £200 million in R&D and is a leading sponsor of clinical trials, in the UK. For more information, please visit www.novartis.co.uk.

Novartis UK is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @NovartisUK

About Novartis BIOME

Founded in 2018, the Novartis BIOME is a catalyst for impactful collaboration. The BIOME brings together Novartis’ deep scientific experience with the expertise of the tech ecosystem to develop and scale digital solutions that improve and extend people’s lives. The BIOME allows internal and external teams to co-develop digital solutions alongside specific therapeutic offerings, research activities, and business processes within Novartis. Launched in 2020 striving to test and learn fast, the Novartis BIOME UK is located in the heart of London, focusing on scaling innovative solutions for chronic and long-term disease management.

For more information, please visit Homepage | Novartis BIOME

About the Novartis BIOME UK HealthHub

The HealthHub is an annual programme that depending on the needs of the healthcare system as a whole seeks out to solve the big challenges of the time. It aims at companies to apply that are in the earlier stage of their journey to also help them develop their capabilities. Likewise the focus is on the current challenges in the NHS and the wider system. Applicants go through a rigorous selection process, culminating in a pitch day, co-chaired by our partners in the healthcare system. In the duration of the programme selected companies receive a wealth of support, including mentoring, networking opportunities, access to commercial and healthcare masterclasses, investor meetings as well as investments through partners.

About the Francis Crick Institute and KQ Labs

The Francis Crick Institute is dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections and neurodegenerative diseases.

An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL, Imperial College London and King’s College London.

The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest Biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

KQ Labs is an accelerator programme dedicated entirely to data-driven health, with a global focus and providing longer term support, as we aim to catalyse the building of an ecosystem. Run by the Francis Crick Institute and funded by LifeArc, KQ Labs offers a customised framework, providing critical expertise and support to ten carefully selected companies, all solving significant healthcare challenges. The annual five-month programme includes a convertible loan (£40k), workshops with experts tailored to digital health, training in transferable skills, mentoring by a hand-picked network of experts, and introductions to investors and corporates.

The intersection between the biomedical and data sciences promises to play a transformational role in solving some of the most difficult challenges facing global health systems. The KQ Labs accelerator represents a unique opportunity to use the Crick’s convening power to catalyse the creation of a world class sustainable digital health ecosystem. By harnessing the world-class data science and biomedical resources available in the area, we can reinforce the UK’s position as a major force in artificial intelligence in health and life sciences and build a world class cluster of successful data-driven health start-ups. Find out more at www.kqlabs.com.

Follow KQ Labs on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About LifeArc

LifeArc is a self-funded medical research charity. Our mission is to advance translation of early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can be taken through to full development and made available to patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance and four licensed medicines.

Our success allows us to explore new approaches to stimulate and fund translation. We have our own drug discovery and diagnostics development facilities, supported by experts in technology transfer and intellectual property who also provide services to other organisations. Our model is built on collaboration, and we partner with a broad range of groups including medical research charities, research organisations, industry and academic scientists. We are motivated by patient need and scientific opportunity.

LifeArc has a number of different funding mechanisms to invest in promising innovation for the benefit of patients. Our Philanthropic Fund provides grants to support medical research projects focused on the translation of rare diseases research.  Our Early Ventures investment strategy builds on our Seed Fund portfolio of start-up companies; investing in innovative new modalities, technologies and translational research that have the potential to generate impact for patients and income that will enable us to drive further innovation. Find out more about our work on www.lifearc.org or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter (@lifearc1).