Bristol based Micrima, a med-tech company that has created a vastly improved breast imaging technology, has closed a £2.6 million funding round with the assistance of online platform VentureFunders. According to information provided by Micrima, approximately half of the funding came from pre-existing institutional and individual investors with the majority of the balance from new high net worth individuals. VentureFounders provided 50% of the latter through their platform. Existing shareholders that participated included Technology Venture Partners LLP, Swarraton Partners, a UK venture capital firm investing in European early stage technology companies and the British Business Bank supported Angel CoFund. Micrima welcomed the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund as a new investor.
Micrima has developed an approved radio-wave breast imaging system. The new technology is expected to allow for more frequent and safer imaging system that will enter commercial utilization before year end. Roy Johnson, Micrima’s Executive Chairman, explained their vision;
“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 for women 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. Using harmless radiowaves, 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.”
Micrima’s first clinical data from their MARIA imaging technology was presented at the European Congress of Radiology in Vienna earlier this year to a positive reception. Micrima stated that the latest results from current multi-site clinical trials were presented at Symposium Mammographicum in Liverpool in July where, from over 90 papers accepted, Micrima’s was one of only four to receive an award from the organising committee.
Micrima said they continue to make excellent progress on the next version of the MARIA system, due to be released early next year. Expectations are for significantly enhanced functionality, including the ability to automatically distinguish between different types of lesion, providing a significant advantage over current methods for its future screening applications.
The MARIA radiowave breast imaging technology received European regulatory approval in 2015 and is currently deployed in clinical trials based at several breast cancer imaging centres throughout the UK.
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