By John Fox-Clinch
Mar 16, 2012
Micrima, the Bristol-based company developing a safe, low-cost system to improve the detection of breast cancer, has attracted a further £900,000 of investment following the success of clinical trials.
The company, originally a spin-out from the University of Bristol, has secured fresh funding from a syndicate of experienced business angels alongside further investment from existing investors YFM Equity Partners and Swarraton Partners.
The safe, low-cost system that will allow women of all ages to be screened for breast cancer in GP surgeries, or alternative High Street locations, has come a step closer following a third successful clinical trial. The emerging system – developed from a landmine detection project – captures, in just eight seconds, high-resolution, 3D images through the use of harmless radio waves.
The new investment will fund further targeted improvements of the MARIA (Multistatic Array processing for Radiowave Image Acquisition) system’s performance and collect a critical mass of validating clinical data at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital in preparation for a suybsequent move into full product development and distribution.
Micrima executive chairman Roy Johnson said: “The challenge is now all about building an increasingly valid and impressive clinical database that will convince the radiology community for each application we choose to target.”
Nick Simmonds of YFM Equity Partners said: “We are very impressed with the level of clinical performance already demonstrated by the system and look forward to working with Roy Johnson and our new co-investors to take the company forward.”
Stephen Brooke of Swarraton Partners added: “We are delighted to continue to support Micrima on the back of the excellent clinical results achieved to date.”
The latest clinical trial, completed in 2011, showed a diagnostic success rate of around 80% and already represents a strong competitor to X-ray mammography in dense tissue. The team is aiming for a success rate of more than 90%.
Early diagnosis dramatically improves survival rates in breast cancer which is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of 35 and 55 in Europe.