Octopus Investments has made an investment of £300,000 into Michelson Diagnostics, a company that has developed a scanner that could greatly improve the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer.
The company’s VivoSight scanner is claimed to provide dermatologists with a new way of seeing abnormalities hidden below the skin surface.
Non-melanoma skin cancer is said to be reaching epidemic proportions, with an estimated 3.5 million new cases a year in the US, accounting for 4.5 per cent of all Medicare cancer costs, and costing the NHS around £100m annually also.
Michelson’s VivoSight scanner will enable clinicians to ‘see’ under the skin surface in real time to help them decide whether to treat a lesion, what treatment to use, and to show them how far a tumour has spread, so that surgery is required only once and conserves healthy tissue.
The scanner could also increase the use of non-invasive, non-scarring treatments by giving clinicians a better way to monitor the progress of the treated lesion.
The VivoSight scanner has won CE & Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory clearance for clinical use in Europe and the US, and is now being evaluated by leading skin-cancer specialists.
The deal announcement adds to the initial investment of £1.7m in October 2010 by Octopus into Michelson.
The £2m investment from Octopus will help fund the manufacture and placement of VivoSight scanners with key opinion leaders for clinical and economic validation, and will support the growth of the sales infrastructure in the UK and US.