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Breakthrough Victoria invests in gut gas detection startup

Manufacturing News

Breakthrough Victoria has announced an investment in Atmo Biosciences, a medical technology company that has developed capsules that are swallowed and electronically diagnose gastrointestinal disorders.

Breakthrough Victoria — an independent company set up in 2021 to manage the state government’s $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund — did not disclose the size of the investment.

In a statement on Monday it described Atmo as having created a world-first gas-sensing capsule the size of vitamin pill, which is swallowed, and which can them electronically report data based on detecting gases in real-time from known locations within the gut. This data is sent to Atmo’s cloud platform for analysis.

The gas sensing technique was invented at RMIT University in 2011 and aims to improve on methods that are “invasive, inaccurate or rely on trial and error”.

The first clinical study is underway in Australia and the US, applying Atmo’s technology as a diagnostic tool for motility disorders (where food or waste doesn’t move properly through the digestive system.)

“This is a very exciting time for Atmo as we progress towards market entry with our first product to evaluate motility disorders and look to scale up our manufacturing capability to meet expected demand for the product,” said Atmo Biosciences CEO Mal Hebblewhite.

Breakthrough Victoria’s investment is via a share purchase from Planet Innovation, a healthtech innovation company that assisted in commercialisation of Atmo’s products.

It follows a Series B investment round, which closed in February 2023, and comes ahead of a planned Series C, “which will fund Atmo’s commercialisation and manufacturing ramp-up in 2024.”

Breakthrough Victoria has previously invested in startup manufacturers including Kite Magnetics, Flaim systems and Samsara Eco.

Picture: credit Atmo

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