Micrima, the Bristol-based breast imaging company and developer of a ground-breaking and CE Mark approved radio-wave breast imaging system, successfully closed on a number of financing rounds the latest in May 2018 of £4.4m. This investment continues to support accelerated development of its patented MARIA® technology, which aims to enable breast screening to become safer, more comfortable and more accessible to a larger proportion of the global female population. The company is now entering the commercialisation phase with interest from a few private clinics at this stage.
“Breast cancer is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of 35 and 55 in Europe and the leading cause of death in many countries. The problem is that many tumours are not discovered early enough, largely due to the difficulty in discriminating between cancers and dense tissue using current imaging technology,” said Roy Johnson, Micrima’s Executive Chairman. “Using harmless radio-waves, the MARIA® imaging system is capable of detecting tumours in dense tissue and allows routine and repeated scanning without any of the safety or comfort concerns associated with x-ray mammography. The process takes less than five minutes and avoids painful breast compression.”
Around £3m of the new funds has come from pre-existing institutional and individual investors, with the balance from new high net worth individuals. Re-investing shareholders include Technology Venture Partners LLP, the British Business Bank supported Angel CoFund, Venture Founders and the Parkwalk managed University of Bristol Enterprise Fund.
The funding came at an exciting period of significant progress for Micrima with the New clinical trial starting at Royal Marsden NHS Trust, London. This trial will collect data from a significantly larger number of patients than have been recruited in any previous trials and will look at, cancer detection as well as neo-adjuvant chemotherapy patient response to treatment. MARIA® data has been presented at various congresses in 2018, ECR, BSBR, and Symposium mammographicum. This final poster was awarded the second prize in the poster competition.
Steve Allen Chief investigator of the Royal Marsden trial said “I am excited to evaluate this new technology as we understand the difficulties we have with dense tissue. This technology has the possibility to circumvent this problem”
The Company also continues to make excellent progress on the next version of the MARIA® system, due to be released in 2019, which will offer significantly enhanced functionality.
Tim Mills, Investment Director at the Angel CoFund commented: “We originally invested in Micrima because we knew we’d found an extremely capable team working with some very interesting technology in a sector with considerable opportunity for innovation. The team has really delivered on our expectation in the last couple of years and we’re very happy to be supporting them again through this next phase of development.”
About Technology Venture Partners
Technology Venture Partners is a venture capital firm based at the Bristol and Bath Science Park and investing in emerging technology companies in the South of the UK. TVP invests across a broad range of technology sectors including enterprise and infrastructure software, communications and networking, electronics, advanced engineering and materials, medical technology and healthcare IT. A number of the TVP portfolio companies were originally spinouts from leading universities and research institutions located in the South of the UK. www.techvp.co.uk
About the Angel CoFund
The Angel CoFund is a £100m investment fund with objectives to back promising UK businesses and help develop the important business angel investment market. Since its launch in 2011, the fund has invested and committed in excess of £24M, alongside a further £95M from business angels and other investors, providing support for 54 companies. The fund retains 100% follow-on capacity. www.angelcofund.co.uk
About the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund
Launched in conjunction with the University of Bristol Research and Enterprise Development Division, the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund offer alumni and investors the opportunity to invest in the development of scientific and technological innovations from the University of Bristol and from companies supported by its world renowned SETsquared
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