NVM Private Equity (“NVM”) has invested £1.0 million of growth capital into Cambridge-based medical device company Ablatus Therapeutics (“Ablatus”) alongside existing angel investors and the Medtech Accelerator. Ablatus was founded in 2016 as a spinout from the NHS, under the guidance of Health Enterprise East (HEE), to develop and commercialise patented bimodal electric tissue ablation (BETA) technology. The NVM investment will support the company through the next stage of commercialisation, including ongoing product development and early clinical trials.
The Ablatus technology was originally developed by clinicians in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH), who identified a novel way to address some of the issues with radiofrequency ablation. The Trust has since been working alongside HEE to commercialise the invention and their efforts led to the formation of Ablatus in 2016, with David Brooks joining as CEO and William Allan as Chairman. David and his team are now focussed on continuing the development of the technology and conducting clinical trials to support the application for a CE-mark. The investment from NVM will help fund this next phase and is accompanied by funding from the MedTech Accelerator, InnovateUK and the angel community.
David Brooks, the CEO of Ablatus, has over 20 years R&D and business experience in the drug, diagnostic and device sectors. David has worked in business development, venture capital and investor relations, has an academic background in cancer biology and a PhD from Cambridge University.
Dr Bill Allan, the Chairman of Ablatus, is an internationally experienced medical device executive who has held senior positions with AngioDynamics, Smith & Nephew, SurgaColl, Stryker and Orthovita.
Health Enterprise East (HEE) are represented by Dr Anne Blackwood on the board of Ablatus. Anne is CEO of HEE and been actively involved in knowledge transfer and intellectual property management in the life sciences for over 15 years. Anne is also a Director of the Medtech Accelerator, a joint venture with public sector partners that funds early stage technology development projects in the NHS. Prior to joining HEE Anne spent four years with Cambridge Enterprise and holds a PhD in chemistry from Strathclyde University.
NVM has a history of investing in innovative MedTech companies having backed Medovate in December 2017, and this recent investment in Ablatus represents NVM’s fourth growth capital investment of 2018.
Dr David Brooks, CEO of Ablatus said; “BETA has shown excellent R&D results in preclinical testing. We now plan to complete the development of BETA as a medical device for clinical trials, regulatory approval and market launch. The investment from NVM complements the generous support we receive from Innovate UK in order to complete BETA development and to grow the Ablatus team. We look forward to working with NVM to bring BETA to the market and to offer new treatment options to patients.”
Jason Warren, Investment Associate of NVM Private Equity said: “We have been impressed with the progress Ablatus has made alongside Health Enterprise East in commercialising an exciting medical invention, and it serves to demonstrate the strength of innovation within the NHS. The bi-modal technology they are developing represents a novel approach to addressing some of the issues with radio frequency ablation and we are looking forward to supporting David in the next phase of the journey.”
Dr. Anne Blackwood, Chair of Medtech Accelerator said: “Health Enterprise East is delighted to be working with Ablatus and supporting the development of its pioneering medical technology product, BETA – a product that has the potential to revolutionise how certain cancers are treated. NVM’s investment will enable Ablatus to take the next steps on its development and commercialisation pathway. With crucial funding in place, the company can now engage in further product development to reach readiness for clinical trials –pivotal steps towards getting this innovation on to the market, for use within the NHS and throughout the global healthcare industry.”