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Michelson Diagnostics receives £600 000 for new funding to develop OCT device

Michelson Diagnostics : 05 August, 2008  (Company News)
Michelson Diagnostics, MDL, has received 600 000 in new funding for a cancer diagnosis and treatment device based on optical coherence tomography, OCT.
The device uses OCT to provide real-time images of sub-surface tissue at near-cellular resolution without tissue removal - an 'optical biopsy'. The company's breakthrough '4-beam' optics provides crisp, clear OCT images at unprecedented resolution, a capability already proven in extensive tests on tissue at leading cancer research centres.

'We are very excited about the breakthrough in image quality that this system offers,' said Colin Hopper, senior maxillofacial surgeon at University College Hospital, London. 'OCT could revolutionise the surveillance of pre-cancers in the mouth and eliminate the waiting time for biopsy results. It should also minimise surgery through improved disease mapping. This will provide cost effective treatments with improved cure rates'.

MDL received early stage funding of 600 000 in October 2007, with 250 000 coming from Catapult and the remaining financial backing coming from London Seed Capital and London Business Angels.

Robin Jones, director of Catapult Venture Managers commenting on the funding said: 'Since our initial investment, MDL has successfully built and trialled a prototype in-vivo machine. The company's ex-vivo product has been clinically validated in Gloucester Royal Hospital and University College Hospital on cervical, oesophageal and oral cancer tissues. Several sales have been made, including to University College Hospital, Sheffield University and the National Physical Laboratory. Tenders for machines are out with a number of hospitals and universities.'

MDL, which has offices in Kent and the West Midlands, was founded in 2006 by Jon Holmes and four other ex-employees of Sira, the photonics instrumentation company.

The innovative, next generation imaging technology, addresses the key need for clinicians to see, during an operation and in real time, the location and extent of a tumour, for a range of cancer types. It is anticipated that the equipment will enable faster, more accurate cancer surgery, with major benefits for both the patient and clinician - removing the slow, painstaking process of taking multiple samples of tissue for analysis.

Jon Holmes, chief executive officer of MDL, said: 'This funding will enable the company to bring new OCT products to market and to demonstrate their potential to solve significant unmet medical needs in multi-billion pound markets worldwide. We are tremendously excited by the confidence shown in Michelson Diagnostics by our investors, Catapult Venture Managers, London Seed Capital (LSC), and London Business Angels'.
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