Ablatus Therapeutics founded to develop and commercialise pioneering cancer treatment
Ablatus Therapeutics Ltd, a medical device company, has been founded to develop and commercialise a novel tissue ablation technology to treat the most challenging and often inoperable, solid cancer tumours.
Spin out company raises £500k seed funding to progress development towards CE-marking and human studies
The start-up company has spun-out of Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH), where the technology originated, with support from Health Enterprise East (HEE), a leading NHS Innovation Hub. Investment comes from Anglia Capital Group, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, totalling £500K and will be used to fund further technology development towards CE-marking and human study trials at the NNUH.
Tissue ablation is a surgical procedure used to destroy tissue, such as a tumour, in situ. A needle-like probe is placed inside the tumour; radiofrequency waves passing through the probe increase the temperature within the tissue and results in tumour destruction. However current application of the procedure is limited in terms of the size and location of tumours which can be treated.
Ablatus Therapeutics is leveraging a novel technology called Bimodal Electric Tissue Ablation (BETA) which offers the potential to address some of the problems of the most commonly-used ablation system. The technology utilises a combination of AC and DC power which prevents tissue damage created by charring and thereby increases the size of the zone which can be treated compared to other technologies.
The new company benefits from granted patents, peer-reviewed publications and an experienced management team. David Brooks, Chief Executive at Ablatus Therapeutics, has wide-ranging experience in drug, device and diagnostic development with a focus on leveraging value from early-stage technologies. He was previously responsible for clinical and business development at TwistDx, the leading DNA diagnostics company and subsidiary of Alere Inc.
David Brooks, Chief Executive at Ablatus Therapeutics, commented: “BETA has the potential to treat tumours previously considered too large for ablation therapy. Ablatus Therapeutics will be using the investment from this ACG-led round to progress the development of BETA towards the market, ultimately with a view to improving patient outcomes.”
Dr Anne Blackwood, CEO at HEE, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in the early stage funding and commercialisation of such an exciting technology especially as it shows every potential to revolutionise how certain cancers are treated. HEE is looking forward to continuing its support as Ablatus Therapeutics develops as a company and brings BETA closer to helping patients.”
Professor Marcus Flather, Director of Research and Development at the NNUH added: “This new technology has been created and developed through lab-based studies, by innovative NNUH staff. The funding offers the opportunity to further develop the technology, making sure it is both safe and effective in treating certain cancers and ultimately improving outcomes for patients.”
Struan McDougall, CEO of Anglia Capital Group, said: “Anglia Capital Group is delighted to have had the opportunity to work with HEE on the first spinout from the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Our members led the investment round because of the exciting potential for this technology in cancer surgery and were strongly supported by matching investment from our partner, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.”
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About Ablatus Therapeutics
Ablatus Therapeutics is a start-up medical device company developing a novel tissue ablation technology called Bimodal Electric Tissue Ablation (BETA), which was originally invented at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Tissue ablation is a surgical procedure used to destroy tissue, such as a tumour, in situ and BETA offers the potential to address some of the problems of the most commonly-used ablation system, which is limited in terms of the size and location of tumours it can address. Ablatus Therapeutics has an existing prototype that has been used to demonstrate BETA in key proof of concept studies and we are now developing the technology so that it can eventually be used in patients.
About Anglia Capital Group
Anglia Capital Group is a leading group of business angel investors in Norfolk and Suffolk. Formed in the Spring of 2014, Anglia Capital Group is a sister company to Cambridge Capital Group – a network of over 70 investors and private venture funds who have been investing in hi-tech businesses and technology start-ups since 2001.
Anglia Capital Group was established to support spinouts, new ventures and growth businesses in both Norfolk and Suffolk, counties boasting expertise in food and agri/biotech, specialist engineering and energy. Members are both leading entrepreneurs and experienced business people united in their desire to invest in the next generation of businesses in East Anglia.
About Low Carbon Innovation Fund
The Low Carbon Innovation Fund provides equity based finance for SME’s wholly or partly based in the East of England. It was set up in 2010 and funded by the EU with a £20.5m ERDF grant that is used to invest with private investors on an equal basis. It is operated by the Adapt Group at the University of East Anglia and managed by Turquoise International.
About New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership was established by Government in 2010. We are a unique business-led collaboration between the private, public and education sectors across Norfolk and Suffolk. Our ambition is to drive economic growth and transform the local economy into a global centre for talent and innovation.
There are 39 LEPs across England and they are independent from Government. New Anglia LEP represents one of the fastest growing regions in the country, with 1.6 million people and around 55,000 businesses
About Health Enterprise East
Health Enterprise East (HEE) is a leading NHS innovation hub committed to improving healthcare through the provision of professional business and innovation management services. The HEE team works with NHS organisations nationally and Med Tech companies globally to support the development of innovative products and services which meet currently unmet healthcare needs. The company offers a broad range of tailored services from strategic analysis and market validation, to practical advice and insight.
Through its member services, HEE also ensures that pioneering innovations from staff across the NHS are identified, developed and commercialised for the benefit of patients, staff and society. Closely affiliated with founding member Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, HEE currently serves over 30 NHS organisations in the East of England, East Midlands and North London. Trusts can opt to sign up as members of HEE and access a full range of skills and expertise.
About Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust consists of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Cromer and District Hospital, with some services available at other sites across Norwich. It became a Foundation Trust in May 2008 which has made the Trust more accountable to patients, the public and our staff.
The Trust carries out nearly one million outpatient appointments, day case procedures and inpatient admissions annually. The population it serves is predominantly the people of Norfolk and north Suffolk, although some patients are referred from further afield especially to access specialist services available at this Trust.