Funding of bio-optics companies to further medical products

Aug. 15, 2008
August 15, 2008 -- Three startup companies -- Electro-Optical Sciences, Inc. (Irvington, NY), Innolume (Dortmund, Germany), Michelson Diagnostics Ltd (MDL, London, U.K.) -- have raised new funding to support development and commercialization of their medical devices. The products' applications include cancer diagnosis.

August 15, 2008 -- Three startup companies developing medical devices for applications such as cancer diagnosis have raised new funding to support product development and commercialization.

Electro-Optical Sciences, Inc. (Irvington, New York; NASDAQ: MELA), developer of MelaFind, a non-invasive, point-of-care instrument to assist in the early diagnosis of melanoma, raised approximately $11.8 million. The money was generated by a stock sale to fund continued development and pre-commercialization activities.

The company reports that MelaFind has been studied on approximately 6,000 skin lesions from approximately 4,500 patients at more than 30 clinics. In these tests, MelaFind missed fewer melanomas and produced fewer false positives than the skin cancer specialists who participated in the studies. MelaFind combined advanced imaging technology with specialized algorithms.

Meanwhile, Innolume (Dortmund, Germany) says it has secured a Series C round of financing for EUR 8.6 million. Innolume will use the funds to further two major initiatives, including enhanced production and marketing of its quantum dot laser products for medical and other applications.

Juergen Kurb, CEO of Innolume, said, "this funding will also enable Innolume to rapidly introduce to the market novel quantum dot based devices aimed at specific high value medical applications." Innolume provides quantum dot (QD) laser diodes and modules covering the 1000 nm to 1320 nm optical spectrum.

And Michelson Diagnostics Ltd. (London, U.K.) credits successful results and growing sales with attracting an additional GBP600K from investors. The funds will help MDL complete development of its hand-held in-vivo optical coherence tomography (OCT) probe. The device is designed for applications in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and uses OCT to provide real-time images of sub-surface tissue at near-cellular resolution without tissue removal.

"We are very excited about the breakthrough in image quality that this system offers," said Mr Colin Hopper, Senior Maxillofacial Surgeon at University College Hospital, London. He added "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".

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