Developed from technology for the detection of landmines.
Originally based on technology for the detection of buried landmines, the early application to breast imaging was spun-out from the University of Bristol as Micrima in 2006. The company founders, Roy Johnson, Executive Chairman, Professor Alan Preece and Professor Ian Craddock recognised the impact that such a technology could potentially have on breast cancer detection and mortality rates. The company continued to fund work at the University until 2013, when the reduced technology risk justified the investment into establishing and growing the physical company.
Early development of the MARIA technology was supported by several equity financing rounds boosted by several grant awards from regional, national and European sources.
During 2013, the prototype MARIA system was deployed in clinical trials at Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals in Bristol. The successful results from these early trials led to European regulatory approval, via the attainment of CE marking in 2015. Our first Chief Technology Officer, Dr Peter Bannister was also appointed at this time.
A further £2m of non-dilutive funding was provided by a major global imaging company as. clinical trials advanced. These trials were initially at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, then at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, and the Thirlestaine Breast Centre in Cheltenham. The resulting multicentre clinical data has been presented at a variety of key European radiology meetings since 2016.
Further finance was raised in 2016 to support the accelerated development our patented MARIA technology.
2016 also saw the appointment of Elizabeth Blake as Marketing Manager as the company commenced the build of its commercial team. Later that year, a move to new premises in Bristol was completed in order to accommodate the growing operation.
The company has now transitioned to the early commercialisation phase via the controlled launch of the MARIA system to the early adopter market. Dialogue with various corporate interests has continued to grow as the wider market has gained knowledge of the emerging MARIA product.