Breast cancer is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of 35 and 55 in Europe. Screening is therefore of paramount importance to catch the disease early and drastically increase the rates of survival.
Due to the harmful ionising nature of the radiation, X-ray mammograms (XRM) are not routinely used on younger women, and screening frequency has to be necessarily limited. At present in the UK, eligible women below the age of 50 are not scanned routinely due to this radiation exposure risk, as well as cost, detection capability and incidence rates.
Micrima aims to solve this problem and bring about significant improvements in breast cancer detection through its proprietary imaging technology which uses harmless radio waves, thereby enabling screening to become safer, more comfortable, more accessible and more economically viable. Its MARIA technology produces a high-contrast 3D image of the breast and has already been shown through clinical trials to be particularly effective at detecting cancers in younger, pre-menopausal women with dense breast tissue.
A large and growing market is anticipated in hospitals, clinics, GP surgeries and an increasing number of ‘walk-in’ care centres around the world. This will potentially extend not only to specific healthcare providers, but also other outlets, such as pharmacies and supermarkets.
Over the next 12-18 months the company will commence the commercialisation phase through a combination of direct selling and national/regional distributors, en-route to concluding strategic commercial partnerships with the larger players.
Micrima has already received substantial backing to date, with over £5.5m invested (through equity and grants) by industry experts and business angels, including the Angel CoFund.
The company is now raising £2 million in this EIS eligible round at a pre-money valuation of £8 million (fully diluted), which is being supported by existing shareholders, and will use the proceeds of this fundraising to commence commercialisation and develop further functionality.
VentureFounders is supporting this round with an incremental raise of £250,000. As the minimum total raise amount has already been surpassed, any commitments from VentureFounders investors to the transaction will be funded at closing, expected to occur in Q1 2016.