Micrima, the Bristol-based breast imaging company, has raised £4.4 million in additional equity funding led by Technology Venture Partners, The Angel CoFund(ACF), and Venture Founders – plus group of returning and new individual investors – bringing the total amount raised to £10.7m.
Roy Johnson, Micrima’s Executive Chairman, said, “I am very happy to announce the completion of our latest funding round, which provides us with the capital we need to move our initial MARIA product into full commercial launch and follow this swiftly with the enhanced functionality that the system is capable of achieving. The market has been prepared over the past 18 months through the publication of our historical clinical trial data, and attendance at numerous congresses and trade shows to showcase our breakthrough technology. As a result, we have many influential clinicians and partners anticipating the launch of MARIA later this year. We look forward to putting the product we have worked so hard to create into their hands for the first time.”
Micrima’s patented MARIA breast cancer screening system is currently for use in symptomatic clinics, and it is intended that it will eventually be widely adopted as a viable alternative to mammography breast screening. It is unique in that it uses harmless radio-waves to detect breast cancer – unlike mammography that uses ionising radiation – requires no breast compression, so is painless for women, but is also a whole-breast method of imaging compared to some modalities that use a handheld probe. In clinical trials it has proven to be particularly effective in dense tissue, where the current screening technology struggles. It has been trialled in over 400 women in the United Kingdom, with further trials just about to commence at leading European centres.
This latest round will be used to further develop Micrima’s ground-breaking and CE Marked radiowave breast imaging system, MARIA, aiming to play its part in enabling breast screening to be safer, more comfortable and more accessible to a larger proportion of the global female population, and to move the MARIA system into full commercial launch later in 2018. In addition, investment will go into expanding the team with strategic hires to help the company meet both of these, and its longer term, objectives.
Nick Simmonds, Partner of Technology Venture Partners, said “The success of this fund raising comes at a pivotal point in the development of Micrima as the company seeks to commercialise the MARIA Breast Imaging System and build out clinician advocacy at Key Opinion Leading Clinics in the UK and Europe. We are proud to show our on-going support for the company and the team as they further develop this important technology and we look forward to future success”.
Tim Mills, Investment Director at ACF, said “We’re delighted to be part of this latest round and to provide further backing behind the Micrima team, who continue to take forward this life changing technology through from the lab to a commercially viable product. Micrima has had great success in clinical trials and the team’s work in bringing this important technology to fruition has been extremely impressive. The Angel CoFund is proud to offer its continued support as the company reaches this exciting landmark in its history.”
James Codling, Co-Founder and MD of VentureFounders commented, “We were struck by Micrima’s experienced and industry-leading team, as well as the demonstrable success of the MARIA imaging technology, and the possibility for it to have a major impact in healthcare. Micrima is anticipating a large and growing market around the world – this raise will allow it to work towards commercialisation and potentially make breast cancer screening accessible to a wider group of women.”