Ekips raises $2.9m for development of infrared laser breath analyser
6 February 2006
Oklahoma, USA. Ekips Technologies has closed a $2.4 million round of
equity financing and received a $500,000 matching grant from the US National
Science Foundation through its Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)
Phase IIB program to develop its revolutionary Breathmeter. The funds will
be used for product development, marketing, and general business operations.
Breathmeter measures biomarker molecules in exhaled breath using a
mid-infrared laser chip — similar to the laser chips used in commercial DVD
players. Breathmeter applications include asthma therapy monitoring, kidney
function monitoring, and cancer detection.
Ekips Technologies' founder and president Dr Patrick McCann says that
future product offerings could include laser-based sensors for measuring
biomarker molecules in blood and urine samples. Successful development and
commercialization of these laser-based chemical and biological sensors can
create a new generation of point-of-care diagnostic tools that will help
people live healthier lives. Ekips has several pending patents as well as
exclusive licenses to five issued patents.
The Breathmeter technology has received national attention in such
publications as the Wall Street Journal, USA Weekend and Prevention
magazine, and Dr. McCann's presentation of Ekips' innovative research was
recently honoured as "Best Paper" out of over 4,700 presentations at the
Fall 2005 Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting in Boston.
The Breathmeter has already been actively used in numerous clinical
research settings through a partnership with the Oklahoma Chapter of the
American Lung Association. The technology will be featured at an upcoming
Optical Society of America meeting, to be held on February 5-9, 2006 at
Incline Village, NV. Ekips has attracted over $2.7 million in peer-reviewed
federal and state research funding since its initiation of operations in
2001 after being spun out of the University of Oklahoma.
"Ekips continues to offer phenomenal benefits in critical applications
for society. The innovative products like the Breathmeter will enhance human
lives and demonstrate the leading role of academic achievement in economic
development," said Tom Landers, dean of the College of Engineering at the
University of Oklahoma.