Octopus invests £1.7m in Michelson Diagnostics' OCT scanner

26 Oct 2010

Octopus Investments has announced an investment of £1.7 million in OCT imaging specialists Michelson Diagnostics to help develop the company's OCT scanner to market.

CEO Jon Holmes founded Michelson with four colleagues in 2006. The Company's first product based on its patented multi-beam optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology, the VivoSight scanner, may revolutionise the market for the non-invasive diagnosis and treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

The VivoSight scanner has already been awarded the CE Mark and US FDA regulatory clearance for clinical use in Europe and the USA, and is now being trialled by leading skin cancer specialists at their clinics.

The investment from Octopus will help fund the manufacture and placement of VivoSight scanners with key-opinion-leaders for clinical and economic validation, and will support the growth of the sales infrastructure in the UK and USA.

Michelson's VivoSight scanner will, for the first time, enable clinicians to see under the skin surface in real time, to help them decide whether to treat a lesion, what treatment to use, and to show them how far a tumour has spread, so that surgery is required only once and conserves healthy tissue.

This is expected to make non-melanoma skin cancer treatment more efficient and cost-effective, and to be better for the patient by reducing unnecessary surgery.

Professor Dan Siegel, a leading New York skin cancer surgeon and President-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), is trialling the product at his surgery, and says: “Michelson's VivoSight OCT system appears to be able to differentiate cutaneous tumours from normal epithelium and stroma, in real time, and has great potential in helping pre-operation delineation of tumour margins, which can be both a time and cost saver in the US Health System.”

Alliott Cole, of Octopus, commented: “Jon is a very capable, articulate CEO whose team has built a compelling product with strong technology and intellectual property. Michelson now faces the challenges of selling into a global market and we are very excited to be partnering them as they start this process.”

Jon Holmes, CEO of Michelson Diagnostics, said: “It is a great pleasure to work with Octopus. The depth of network and business expertise in growing early stage businesses both within the team and within the Octopus Venture Partner Group will be invaluable in helping to power our growth in 2011 and beyond.”

 Funds were provided from the Octopus Titan VCT funds, the Eureka EIS Portfolio Service and the Octopus Venture Partners.


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