Spinout News

Endomagnetics announces investment and new CEO appointment

8 September 2010

Endomagnetics Limited, the medical device company that helps surgeons to track the spread of breast cancer, has raised £770,000 from a syndicate led by UCL Business PLC and Sussex Place Ventures. The financing coincides with the appointment of Dr Eric Mayes as CEO of this recent spin-out from University College London and builds upon a previous seed round of £350,000, secured in June 2009.

Endomagnetics uses magnetic tracers and a highly sensitive magnetic sensing device to help breast cancer surgeons detect the extent to which breast cancer has spread during an operation. “The SentiMag solution allows 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 and cost savings to hospitals,” said Mayes. “Endomagnetics has a great team and exceptional promise and I look forward to making this solution globally available.”

Dr Mayes joins Endomagnetics from Cambridge Display Technology, where he was Director of Commercial Development. He has more than 10 years’ experience in advanced materials and devices businesses and a strong track record in leading early stage ventures. Steven Schooling from UCL Business PLC commented that: “The investment syndicate are delighted to have an individual of Eric’s calibre leading the Endomagnetics team and we look forward to Eric piloting the company through upcoming technical, regulatory and business development challenges, as Endomagnetics seeks to establish itself as a leading player in oncology markets.”

“Endomagnetics has made tremendous progress over the past 12 months in developing a commercial product,” said Richard Gourlay, Managing Director of Sussex Place Ventures. “We were impressed by the enthusiastic response of surgeons to Endomagnetics’ production prototypes at the end of 2009, and by their desire to reduce hospital reliance on nuclear medicine.”

Endomagnetics’ first product is the intra-operative medical device the SentiMag, designed for use in the treatment of breast cancer and melanoma. Globally, around 1.25 million new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year, and the rate is 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 the ‘sentinel’ lymph nodes to ascertain whether cancer has spread from the tumour to other sites in the body, but this practice is not globally available. The SentiMag overcomes the disadvantages of the availability, cost and palatability of the currently available procedure by using a detection system based on magnetic rather than radioactive tracers, to identify the sentinel lymph nodes. With this solution, Endomagnetics provides peace of mind by allowing informed decisions to be taken regarding post-operative care, sparing the patient unnecessary pain and the hospital unnecessary expense in both developed and developing countries.

Endomagnetics Ltd. is a medical devices company that was spun-out from UCL to capitalize upon research work in the area of magnetic sensing led by Professor Quentin Pankhurst. Endomagnetics has developed and clinically tested the SentiMag – a new surgical instrument for use in the treatment of breast cancer and melanoma. The SentiMag helps surgeons to identify the ‘sentinel’ lymph node for excision and subsequent histology to determine whether cancer has spread from a nearby tumour site. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is a clinical procedure that has been recognised globally as best practice for the staging of cancer treatment, and the SentiMag has been developed to deliver this procedure widely and at a lower cost than existing techniques.

More information on Endomagnetics can be found at: www.endomagnetics.com.

UCL Business
UCL Business plc is responsible for commercialising innovations arising from the research base at University College London, 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.

More information on UCL Business can be found at: www.uclb.com.

Sussex Place Ventures
Sussex Place Ventures Ltd. is owned by the London Business School and is positioned to leverage the Business School’s alumni base and associated entrepreneurial cluster. Sussex Place Ventures invests from two funds – Regents Park Partners LP, a private investor fund raised in August 2007 that invests in venture capital and smaller private equity deals, and the Combined London Colleges University Challenge Fund, a University-based seed fund.

More information on Sussex Place Ventures can be found at: www.spventures.co.uk.

 Further Information
For further information contact:
Dr Eric Mayes, CEO Endomagnetics +44 207 491 6538, emayes@endomagnetics.com
Dr Steven Schooling, Director of Engineering & Physical Sciences, UCL Business +44 207 679 9793, s.schooling@uclb.com
Richard Gourlay, Managing Director Sussex Place Ventures +44 207 7000 0022, r.gourlay@spventures.co.uk