Leuko, a startup spun out from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has raised $5m in a Series A funding round for its at-home non-invasive white blood cell (WBC) solution, PointCheck.

The funding round saw the participation of HTH VC, IAG Capital Partners, Good Growth Capital, Nina Capital, and angel investors.

According to Leuko, the proceeds will be used to expedite clinical trials in collaboration with major cancer centres in the US and Europe with an aim to obtain regulatory approval for its noninvasive white blood cell monitoring technology for cancer patients.

The new funding will also aid the startup to continue pursuing its launch strategies and partnerships with pharmaceutical firms, medical device distributors, and healthcare providers.

Leuko co-founder and CEO Carlos Castro-Gonzalez said: “Low WBC levels is one of the most common as well as most devastating and costliest side effects of cancer chemotherapy.

“Clinical data indicates that as many as one out of every six chemotherapy patients suffer life-threatening infections and hospital readmissions directly linked to low WBCs.

“At Leuko, we are working on a solution to help patients and providers prevent these hospital readmissions and improve clinical outcomes, by remotely monitoring WBC levels before infections ensue.”

PointCheck is said to combine optics and artificial intelligence (AI) to make noninvasive blood testing easier, quicker, and more accessible than existing solutions. Patients have to place their finger on an internet-connected PointCheck device for one minute each day to get their WBC count.

The device calculates WBC levels without taking a blood sample. The data from it is sent to the patient’s care team to help patients receive appropriate, preventive treatments under the direction of their doctor.

HTH VC CEO Michele Gaiotto said: “We are excited to support Leuko as they scale and bring this clinically validated solution to the millions of patients who can live healthier lives through an increased monitoring of their weakened immune system.

“We believe that Leuko is building a strong team and technology platform and are honored to support its worthy mission.”