UK’s Blood Scandal Highlights Importance Of Infectious Disease Startups

A public inquiry has found that the UK’s infected blood scandal, which led to the deaths of 3,000 people and infected thousands more with hepatitis or HIV, could have been prevented. Reuters reports that the inquiry blamed doctors and successive governments for their failure to act despite knowing the risks.

Inquiry chair Brian Langstaff revealed that over 30,000 people received contaminated blood through the NHS in the 1970s and 1980s. The scandal involved blood products sourced from high-risk donors, including U.S. prisoners.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the report as a “day of shame” for the British state and apologised to the victims. Langstaff criticised the government’s cover-up efforts, which were aimed at saving face and reducing costs.

The inquiry highlighted systemic failures and a lack of accountability, with Langstaff calling the events “horrifying and astonishing.” Full compensation for those affected has been promised.


Why Should Startups Focus On Infectious Disease?


It’s crucial for companies and startups, particularly those in health and biotech sectors, to prioritise infectious disease prevention.

Infectious diseases pose significant threats to public health worldwide. These diseases, caused by pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can spread rapidly and lead to widespread illness and even death if left unchecked. By focusing on prevention, companies can help reduce the burden of infectious diseases on healthcare systems and communities.

Infectious diseases also have serious economic consequences. Outbreaks can disrupt industries, strain healthcare resources, and hinder economic growth. By investing in prevention strategies such as vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments, companies can alleviate the economic impact of infectious diseases. and contribute to overall societal well-being and stability.

The emergence of new infectious diseases and the rise of antimicrobial resistance highlight the need for innovation in infectious disease prevention. Companies that shift their focus to developing solutions can stay ahead of evolving threats and make significant contributions to global health security.


Startups Fighting Against Infectious Disease


There are companies are dedicated to improving public health by tackling infectious diseases. They employ innovative strategies and products to combat various pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

These companies prioritise research and development to create effective treatments and preventive measures against various pathogens. Their commitment to innovation and collaboration demonstrates their dedication to advancing healthcare and protecting communities worldwide.


Helice Diagnostics


Helice Diagnostics


Helice Diagnostics is at the forefront of combating Lyme disease, tick-borne illnesses, and bacterial infections with their innovative phage-powered tests.

Their advanced technology offers highly accurate detection of various pathogens, providing faster and more reliable diagnoses. This enables timely treatment and reduces misdiagnosis, benefiting both patients and healthcare providers.

Helice Diagnostics also promotes awareness and education on Lyme disease prevention and offers cost-effective, accessible testing solutions. Their comprehensive support improves both physical and mental health outcomes for patients.



Vir Biotechnology


Vir Biotechnology


Vir Biotechnology leverages deep immunology expertise to address infectious and viral-associated diseases. The company focuses on developing powerful monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies, enhanced by artificial intelligence for optimisation and engineering.

Vir’s robust pipeline includes advanced programs targeting chronic hepatitis delta and B, alongside multiple potential investigational new drug applications in the next 12-24 months.

Vir’s leadership team also boasts extensive experience in progressing product candidates from early research to global commercialisation, aiming to transform patient care through innovative medicines.






Viraschutz offers a unique solution for continuous protection against pathogens with a lasting effect of up to three months. Their patented technology creates an invisible antimicrobial coating on any indoor surface, ensuring safety in living, working, and recreational spaces.

Their solution is sustainable, reducing chemical use by 98%, and cost-effective, requiring application only four times a year. Suitable for all surfaces, including electronics, Viraschutz combines high efficacy with eco-friendly practices, backed by extensive scientific research.


Rostra Therapeutics

Rostra Therapeutics


Rostra Therapeutics, a new company spun out from the University of Strathclyde, is dedicated to developing novel medicines to tackle serious infectious diseases.

Using second-generation Strathclyde Minor Groove Binders (S-MGBs), Rostra aims to address unmet clinical needs by targeting various pathogens, including fungi, viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

The company’s initial focus is on treating invasive fungal infections, contributing to the global fight against diseases that claim millions of lives annually.


Hamlet BioPharma And SelectImmune Pharma


Hamlet BioPharma and SelectImmune Pharma


Hamlet BioPharma and SelectImmune Pharma are merging to form a dynamic pharmaceutical company focusing on cancer and infection treatments.

With a broad portfolio, they aim to address unmet medical needs with innovative projects. Hamlet BioPharma specialises in cancer treatments, while SelectImmune Pharma focuses on immunotherapies as antibiotic alternatives.

Their combined efforts promise exciting research projects and novel drug candidates, aiming to revolutionise healthcare.