Micrima is a Bristol-based breast imaging company and developer of a ground-breaking and CE Mark approved radio wave breast imaging system.
Micrima has successfully closed on a number of financing rounds. The latest raising £1.9 million from new and existing shareholders which is being matched by the 'Future Fund', the UK government initiative delivered by the British Business Bank, thereby providing Micrima with an aggregated £3.8 million of additional funding.
This investment will continue to support accelerated development of Micrima’s patented MARIA technology and tissue differentiation classifiers. This aims to enable breast screening to become safer, more comfortable, more accessible to a larger proportion of the global female population. This will be achieved through being quick, safe and with a higher sensitivity than mammography in dense breasts. The company is now entering the commercialisation phase with interest from a number of early adopters.
“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 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,” said Nick Randall, Micrima’s Non-Executive Chairman.
“Using harmless radio-waves, the MARIA imaging system is capable of detecting tumours in dense tissue. It is currently undergoing trials in diagnostic clinics, but this funding will allow us to prove the concept work already published, in a clinical setting. As a step in the journey to providing a system that can be used frequently from a younger age in a screening setting without any of the safety or comfort concerns associated with x-ray mammography.”
Around £3m of the previous funds came from pre-existing institutional and individual investors, with the balance from additional high net worth individuals. Re-investing shareholders include Technology Venture Partners LLP, the British Business Bank supported Angel CoFund, Venture Founders and the Parkwalk managed University of Bristol Enterprise Fund.
The funding came following an exciting period of significant progress for Micrima with the conclusion of the clinical trial at Royal Marsden NHS Trust, London.
This trial collected data from a significantly larger number of patients than had been recruited in any previous trials and will look at cancer detection. Patient recruitment is complete and analysis of the data is now taking place. It is expected this will be published shortly. MARIA data has been presented at various congresses, ECR, BSBR, and Symposium mammographicum. This poster presented at this final event being awarded the second prize in the poster competition.
Steve Allen, Chief investigator of the Royal Marsden trial, said “I am excited to evaluate this new technology as we understand the difficulties we have with dense tissue. This technology has the possibility to circumvent this problem.”
Tim Mills, Investment Director at the Angel CoFund commented: “We originally invested in Micrima because we knew we’d found an extremely capable team working with some very interesting technology in a sector with considerable opportunity for innovation. The team has really delivered on our expectation in the last couple of years and we’re very happy to be supporting them again through this next phase of development.”