Cancer detection startup gains government funding to fast-track tech into market within 12 months

Surgeons still rely on sight and touch to remove cancer, but Lightpoint Medical’s breakthrough is set to change this. For “the first time in medical history” surgeons could be using Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CMI) technology to detect cancer and prevent the removal of healthy tissue during surgery, thereby reducing the need for repeat operations.

Dr David Tuch, CEO of Lightpoint Medical said: “Our technology is a major breakthrough in cancer surgery; it is not being used anywhere else in the world.”

The company explained that cancerous tissue often fails to be completely removed during the initial surgery because there are no tools to rapidly and effectively detect cancer during surgery, which is something that Lightpoint Medical addresses.

“2014 was an incredible year for Lightpoint,” said Tuch. “We acquired our first clinical data in breast cancer surgery with very encouraging results. We also closed a £2m Series A round and received a £950k contract from NHS England. These funds will let us bring our two lead products to the US and EU markets.”

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And now they have gained a further £1m grant from SBRI, an NHS funded initiative.
Along with £2.8m from Innovate UK, Tuch is adamant that surgeons across the world could be using their technology within the next 12 months.

“2015 promises to be a transformative year for Lightpoint,” he explained. “We will launch our products in US and EU and report our clinical trial results. We are now building our marketing and sales operations in support of our commercial launch. We are looking forward to bringing our innovative products into the market and clinic.

“The healthcare industry is undergoing a transformation from procedure-based reimbursement to outcome-based reimbursement. Importantly, many markets including the US are imposing financial penalties or incentives to improve the quality of cancer surgery. This plays extremely well to Lightpoint’s proposition where we can substantially reduce costs as well as improve patient outcomes.

“The level of grants and funding that Lightpoint Medical has received reflects the real clinical demand for our technology, and its market potential.”

The technology has also already been used to treat a patient with prostate cancer in a London hospital this month.

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