27 October 2016
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. 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.
From left to right: Chris Dashper, Head of Programmes, New Anglia LEP; Dr William Allan, Chairman Ablatus Therapeutic; Dr David Brooks, CEO Ablatus Therapeutics; Prof Marcus Flather, Director of R&D and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist; NNUH, Saffron Myhill-Hunt, Innovation Funding Manager, Low Carbon Innovation Fund; and Dr Anne Blackwood, Chief Executive, Health Enterprise East
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.”
For further information on Ablatus Therapeutics please call 01223 928040