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Lightpoint Medical raises $3m for cancer detecting tech

Lightpoint Medical, a company pioneering real-time cancer detecting technology, has raised $3m (£2m) in series A investment.

The Hertfordshire and Massachusetts-based startup develops technology that aims to tackle the high rate of followup operations undergone by people with some cancers, most notably breast and prostate cancer. It helps surgeons find the cancer in real-time during operations with the help of molecular imaging technology.

Founded in 2012, Lightpoint’s technology is currently on trial at Guy’s Hospital in London and will use the investment to bring two of its lead products to US and European markets in 2015.

Boost for MedCity

The investment comes from angel investors and crowdfunding, and comes as a boost to the MedCity initiative announced by Boris Johnson in early 2014.

Established in April 2014, MedCity was launched to support the commercialisation of life sciences innovations in the London-Oxford-Cambridge golden triangle.

“This is a deservedly successful investment round that highlights the value of being flexible about your funding mix and pulling all the levers to access the investment you need,” said MedCity Executive Chair Dr Elliot Foster.

“There is a growing sense of confidence and ambition in the UK’s life sciences sector right now, and access to investment is absolutely key to that momentum.”

Cutting re-operations

According to Lightpoint, around one in four women in the UK undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer requires at least one re-operation because there is no accurate way to detect microscopic cancerous deposits during the operation.

“The current rate of reoperations comes with a high cost to patient well-being and healthcare budgets, and we are very pleased that the funding will help bring our products to people who need them,” explained Lightpoint Medical CEO Dr David Tuch.

“The level of investment we have raised reflects the real clinical demand for this technology, and therefore its enormous market potential.”