Michelson Diagnostics raises £350K for clinical trials and growth
4 March 2009
Michelson Diagnostics Ltd (MDL) has announced that it has raised just
over £350,000 from a consortium of investors from the London Business
Angels (LBA) network and from the management team. The money will be
used to support multi-centre clinical trials of its new hand-held
multi-beam optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging probe, and also
aid international commercial growth.
“We received tremendous customer interest in our new ‘VivoSight’
multi-beam OCT probe, when we demonstrated the working prototype at the
BiOS09 show (San Jose) in January”, said Michelson’s CEO, Jon Holmes,
“and sales of our EX1301 OCT Microscope have accelerated in the last two
quarters. We plan to launch VivoSight with UK clinical approvals in
May/June this year, and I believe that we will post triple-digit sales
growth in 2009”.
MDL received early-stage funding of £600k in October 2007, and a
further £600k in July 2008, in rounds led by London Seed Capital Ltd
with Catapult Venture Managers Ltd and the LBA. It has offices in Kent
and the West Midlands and was founded in 2006 by Jon Holmes and four
other ex-employees of Sira, the photonics instrumentation company.
MDL’s Chairman, John Knowles, commented on the company’s fundraising
strategy: “The management team has continued to achieve key milestones
on time and on budget, and this has enabled a successful fundraising at
a time when money is scarce and without loss of value for existing
shareholders. We are now well placed to raise a much larger sum, timed
to coincide with the economic recovery and results from clinical
MDL says that the ‘VivoSight’ Multi-Beam OCT imaging technology has
better resolution than competing OCT systems. This could revolutionize
cancer diagnosis and treatment by potentially enabling clinicians to
see, in real time, (and at far higher resolution than is possible with
current ultrasound, MRI or CT imaging), the location and extent of a
tumour, for a range of cancer types.
OCT image of the skin of a finger, showing
and dermis, with blood vessels clearly visible. Image
size 8 mm x 2 mm. Scale bar at top right is 1.0 mm
It is anticipated that the equipment will enable faster, more
accurate cancer surgery, with major benefits for both the patient and
clinician — removing the slow, painstaking process of taking multiple
samples of tissue for analysis.
Primary applications are expected to be skin and oral cancer, but
many other cancers will be accessible via future variants of the probe,
and there are also many other clinical and non-clinical applications for
this powerful new imaging technology. The company has already conducted
trials on excised human cancer tissue in the UK, Germany and the US, and
will commence in vivo trials during 2009.
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