A prototype of a unique device for pregnant women that will accurately predict the onset of labour is expected within six months, following the announcement of an investment led by entrepreneur and business angel, Graham Cooper.
Cooper, who lives in Cumbria, has joined Leeds-based Jopejo Ltd as Chairman. He has a strong background in supporting early-stage technologies and his involvement with the company consolidates a strong relationship with innovators at the University of Leeds.
The £750,000 investment will enable Jopejo to accelerate the production of the prototype and allow its inventors to devote more time to the project, as well as repaying the original loan from the White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund (WRTSF) – the venture capital fund owned by the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York – which financed the development of the technology.
Jopejo was established to develop the research of Dr. Nigel Simpson and Professor James Walker from the Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Leeds University Medical School, who have shown that changes in the pattern of electrical activity in the womb in the weeks leading up to labour can signify when labour is imminent.
‘Jopejo Managing Director, Dr Nigel Simpson said ‘We hope that this device will have enormous benefits for all pregnant women, not least those at risk from premature labour. Graham’s investment is wonderful news for us: trials are going well and we can now look forward to the accelerated development of a prototype which we expect to be completed within six months.’