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Epidarex Capital, a leading international early-stage life science venture capital fund, has announced a £4 million Series A investment, in Edinburgh Molecular Imaging (EMI). Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank, also participated in the round. EMI, an Edinburgh BioQuarter spin-out company from the University of Edinburgh, is developing a pioneering Optical Molecular Imaging (OMI) technology with the potential to address unmet needs in the diagnosis and monitoring of several major diseases.
EMI’s highly innovative OMI technology revolves around the development of fluorescent imaging reagents that detect harmful processes deep inside the human body, at the bedside, in real time and at molecular resolution. The company’s initial focus is on lung conditions but the technology is applicable to a wide spectrum of disease. The company’s approach has the potential to transform clinicians’ ability to diagnose and manage a number of serious respiratory conditions, including lung cancer, fibrosis, lung infections and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). EMI’s technology will address the pressing need for tests which can rapidly provide diagnostic certainty and reduce healthcare costs. Respiratory diseases kill one in five people in the UK and cost the NHS over £6 billion per year, with lung cancer being the biggest cancer killer.
EMI is based upon the world-class translational research (spanning chemistry, biology, and medicine) of its three founders from the University of Edinburgh: Professor Mark Bradley (School of Chemistry), Professor Chris Haslett and Dr. Kev Dhaliwal (College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine). These leading scientists and clinicians have already secured major translational research funding from the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust & the UK Department of Health to develop their highly novel discoveries.
Epidarex Capital’s close partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh BioQuarter is typical of its investment model of providing early-stage risk capital to top researchers and entrepreneurs who are developing highly innovative solutions for the global healthcare market.