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OCT firm Michelson Diagnostics closes £2.5m ‘Series B’ funding

24 Feb 2015

First tranche of expected £4m; Smith & Nephew invests £1.25m and joins board of UK company.

Michelson Diagnostics, the UK-based medical device company focused on multi-beam Optical Coherence Tomography technology, has closed the £2.5m first tranche of its “Series B” financing, led by strategic investor and medical specialist Smith & Nephew alongside new investor Kent County Council as well as existing investors.

The £2.5m investment will be used to expand Michelson Diagnostics’ commercial presence in Germany; launch the Company’s next generation VivoSight OCT tissue-imaging system; complete the ongoing US multi-center clinical biopsy avoidance study; and explore further applications in wound care and dentistry.

VivoSight is a point-of-care tissue-imaging system that for the first time allows users to see below surface of the skin; non-invasively and with continuous high definition images. Using VivoSight, medical professionals can non-invasively obtain images of the epidermis and superficial dermis of the skin and make an accurate, pain-free diagnosis in real-time.

The company’s initial clinical application is for the diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancer - the most common skin cancer with approximately 3.5 million new cases diagnosed each year in the USA alone.

In March 2014, the company reported positive top line results from a successful multi-center, prospective clinical trial in Germany for the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma using the VivoSight OCT system at the American Academy of Dermatology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.

Andrew Boyes, SVP Strategic Initiatives Smith & Nephew, will join Michelson Diagnostics’ Board. The companies will collaborate to explore new indications for VivoSight such as the investigation of burn depth assessment.

Brian Howlett, Chairman, Michelson Diagnostics, commented, “Andrew Boyes brings a wealth of medical device development as well as industry-specific commercialisation expertise, which will prove invaluable through the next phase of growth at Michelson.

Andy Hill appointed CEO

Earlier in February 2015, Michelson Diagnostics announced the appointment of Andy Hill as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Jon Holmes, former CEO, will remain with the company and take up the newly-created role of Chief Technology Officer.

Hill has substantial commercial experience in the international medical device industry with a track record of building early stage businesses with new and disruptive technologies in a wide range of clinical settings. Most recently, he was CEO and co-founder of Intelligent Ultrasound, a medical imaging software spinout from the University of Oxford. The company raised £2.2 million through Angel Investors and Venture Capital fund and was the first start-up to receive NHS funding through the National Innovation Centre, winning the OBN award for Best Emerging Medtech Company in 2014.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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