Bristol University spinout wins Blavatnik Prize for U-RHYTHM

Dynamic Therapeutics, a spinout from the University of Bristol, has been awarded a Blavatnik Prize by QantX, a venture capital firm, for its U-RHYTHM technology.

Based on more than 25 years research, it offers a low-cost solution to capture up to 72 samples over a 24-hour period with data on hormone production. The company’s mission is become the gold standard for time-based measurement of hormones to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and improve treatment for patients with conditions such as Type 1 diabetes and hypertension.

Abundant clinical applications in $128bn addressable market

Founded by Prof. Stafford Lightman, Dr. Georgina Hazell and Alex Caccia, the company plans further trials of the technology with research institutions around the world as it looks to address a global diagnostics market estimated to be worth $128bn. In a paper reviewing the application of U-RHYTHM (‘Closing the loop on adrenal health, dysfunction, and disease’, Science Translational Medicine, 2023) Dipika R. Mohan and Antonio Marcondes Lerario suggest the technology has “abundant clinical applications for established endocrine disorders, seeding opportunities to redefine disease states by their abnormality, their temporality, and target tissue responsiveness to hormones.”

Understanding how hormones affect our health

Hormones play a crucial role in many aspects of our health from regulation of metabolism to growth and development, and reproduction to stress responses, managing mood, emotions, and sleep-wake cycles. Monitoring them is difficult as not only do hormone levels vary greatly across the day but also by individual patient. Standard techniques for the diagnosis and management of hormone-related disorders rely on taking single measurements usually in the morning, which is problematic because many hormone levels change in an oscillating manner. In contrast, U-RHYTHM measures the patterns of biologically active molecules in the tissues and how they change over time. This information can be analysed to identify potential – and importantly the early – disruptions which could affect a patient’s health.

Richard Haycock, CEO, QantX: “We know more than ever about the workings of the human body and yet the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions remain challenging, particularly those caused by hormonal imbalances which vary with time. Whilst clinicians rely on single point in time tests such as blood and urine, the U-RHYTHM device has the potential to capture dynamic information about a patient’s health and improve diagnosis. We’re excited to support the Dynamic Therapeutics team with a Blavatnik Prize for Innovation and help them deliver a low-cost, non-invasive solution.”

Professor Stafford Lightman, co-founder, Dynamic Therapeutics: “It is a great honour to receive a Blatavnik Prize from QantX and comes at an exciting moment in the company’s evolution. Our trials are already showing significant interest among customers for U-RHYTHM and we are looking to rapidly expand our work with research institutions as we look to commercialise the technology in the next year.”