Echopoint raises £2.8m to address the ‘grey zone’ of heart disease treatment
26 September 2019
Echopoint Medical Ltd, a spinout company from UCL, has raised £2.8m to develop optical sensing technology to help heart disease patients in a grey zone where the need for treatment is unclear.
As featured in The Telegraph, Echopoint Medical Ltd, a spinout company from UCL, has raised £2.8m to develop optical sensing technology to help heart disease patients in a 'grey zone' where the need for treatment is unclear. This technology could speed up diagnosis for tens of thousands of NHS patients a year.
Coronary heart disease is a major cause of death worldwide and more than 7 million* people have a diagnosis in the UK alone. Narrowing arteries caused by the disease are commonly treated by the insertion of tiny tubes called stents, but the process is both risky and expensive.
Current methods for determining whether to place a stent are inadequate. Dye-based imaging techniques deliver inconclusive results on the need for a stent for a large ‘grey zone’ of patients, many of whom undergo unnecessary invasive surgery as a result.
Echopoint has developed inexpensive microcatheters which use fibre-optic sensors to accurately measure blood pressure and flow, enabling clinicians to precisely assess patients and dramatically reduce stent implants.
Echopoint has raised its investment from the UCL Technology Fund, Parkwalk and two grants from Innovate UK. It will use the funding to further develop the optical fibre sensors on its microcatheters, as well as its unique technology platform which translates their ultrasound signals into meaningful metrics. The company will also complete a 20-30 patient clinical trial.
Echopoint was founded in November 2018 and is led by executive chairman Antony Odell, an experienced medtech entrepreneur and previous CEO of Tissue Regenix; Dr Adrien Desjardins, Chief Technical Officer and a senior lecturer in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at UCL; and Dr Malcolm Finlay, Chief Medical Officer and a consultant cardiologist at Barts Heart Centre. The start-up is being incubated within the Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences at UCL and is a UCL Business spin-out company.