Acuitas Medical on course for full commercialisation

Award-winning MRI technology developer, Acuitas Medical Limited, will use a further undisclosed round of investment from Finance Wales to accelerate the development of its unique and patented MRI technology which potentially represents a major advance in non-invasive early diagnosis for a wide range of diseases including cancer.

This latest round is the Swansea-based company’s second round from Finance Wales in the last two years. Altima Partners, which made the original institutional investment in Acuitas, also participated in this round. Acuitas Medical will use the investment to undertake further clinical validation and product development of its fineSA™ software prior to full commercialisation, along with QA and regulatory processes.

fineSA is a completely novel technology with the real potential to revolutionise the early diagnosis of a range of diseases of the liver, lung and brain, together with breast cancer and osteoporosis. It can accurately pinpoint the early signs of disease by measuring the fine structural changes that are early markers for disease which cannot be imaged by current MRI technologies,” said Peter E Taylor, Acuitas Medical’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder.

He added: “fineSA can be very simply installed on any clinical or research MRI scanner without the need for additional hardware. It dramatically improves the scanner’s performance by distinguishing small structural changes and will help radiologists to make more informed diagnoses.”

Acuitas Medical’s technology also has the potential to play an important role in preclinical research and drug development. It can monitor the effectiveness of treatment therapies over the various phases involved in bringing a drug to market.

Dr Richard Thompson, Early Stage Investments Manager at Finance Wales, said: “This is our second investment in Acuitas Medical in the last two years and a very exciting time for the company. fineSA has the potential to revolutionise early diagnosis in a cost-effective way. We’re extremely pleased with the progress Acuitas Medical has made since our initial investment in 2010. Not only has it strengthened its management team, but it has also established a number of world-class collaborations with clinicians, radiologists and researchers. We look forward to the successful completion of the company’s latest phase of clinical trials and then to full commercialisation.”

Acuitas Medical collaborates with a number of prominent research institutions to develop its software, including Emory University, Atlanta; Oxford NHS Trust; Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMÜ) Munich; Cambridge Research Institute; Cambridge University; Oxford University; University of California at Santa Barbara and Swansea University.

November, 2010 saw Acuitas Medical win the Best New Radiology Vendor award at the annual ‘Minnies’ at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting in Chicago. The prestigious ‘Minnie’ awards are hosted by radiology website portal, AuntMinnie.com and recognise global excellence in radiology and medical imaging.

Advisors on the deal were John Collins & Partners LLP and Hugh James.