UCL start-up announces investment and new CEO
16 September 2010
Endomagnetics Ltd, a business that began life as a research project at UCL, has raised £770,000 from a syndicate led by UCL Business plc, UCL's knowledge transfer and technology commercialisation company, and Sussex Place Ventures.
The financing coincides with the appointment of Dr Eric Mayes as CEO of the company, and builds upon a previous seed round of investment together with support from the Technology Strategy Board.
Endomagnetics Ltd is a medical devices company that was spun out from UCL to capitalise upon research work in the area of magnetic sensing led by Professor Quentin Pankhurst, Director of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory. Through the use of magnetic tracers and a highly sensitive magnetic sensing device, Endomagnetics is able to help breast cancer surgeons detect whether breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Globally this is vitally important, with around 1.25 million new cases of breast cancer being diagnosed each year, and the rate increasing by nearly 20,000 cases year on year. In practically all of these cases, surgery is required to remove the tumour. The accepted best practice is to concurrently excise both the tumour and the 'sentinel' lymph nodes to ascertain whether cancer has spread from the tumour to other sites in the body. This procedure is currently performed using a radioactive tracer based detection system, associated with which are issues around availability, cost and palatability. Endomagnetics magnetics based solution has been developed to deliver the sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure more widely and at a significantly lower cost.
CEO Eric Mayes said: "The SentiMag solution being developed by Endomagnetics will allow surgeons in many more countries and in a wider range of hospitals to perform sentinel lymph node biopsy, bringing the potential benefits of selective breast cancer surgery to many more women, whilst provide cost and workflow benefits to hospitals."
Dr Steven Schooling from UCL Business PLC said: "The Endomagnetics team have made tremendous progress in the past year and we look forward to Eric Mayes piloting the company through upcoming technical, regulatory and business development challenges, as Endomagnetics seeks to establish itself as a leading player in oncology markets."
Image above: The SentiMag developed by Endomagnetics for use in the treatment of breast cancer and melanoma.
UCL Business plc is responsible for commercialising innovations arising from the research base at UCL, one of the UK's leading research-led universities. UCL Business undertakes a broad range of knowledge transfer activities, covering the facilitation of consultancy and collaborative research engagements through to technology transfer, company incubation and investment.
Endomagnetics Limited is just one example of how research at UCL is finding commercial application. Researchers interested in hearing about the latest developments in knowledge transfer and business interactions at UCL may wish to attend the town meeting on enterprise on 21 September 2010. Follow the link above for more information.