Ekips raises $2.9m for development of infrared laser breath analyser

6 February 2006

Oklahoma, USA. Ekips Technologies has closed a $2.4 million round of equity financing and received a $500,000 matching grant from the US National Science Foundation through its Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase IIB program to develop its revolutionary Breathmeter. The funds will be used for product development, marketing, and general business operations.

The Ekips Technologies BreathmeterThe Breathmeter measures biomarker molecules in exhaled breath using a mid-infrared laser chip — similar to the laser chips used in commercial DVD players. Breathmeter applications include asthma therapy monitoring, kidney function monitoring, and cancer detection.

Ekips Technologies' founder and president Dr Patrick McCann says that future product offerings could include laser-based sensors for measuring biomarker molecules in blood and urine samples. Successful development and commercialization of these laser-based chemical and biological sensors can create a new generation of point-of-care diagnostic tools that will help people live healthier lives. Ekips has several pending patents as well as exclusive licenses to five issued patents.

The Breathmeter technology has received national attention in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, USA Weekend and Prevention magazine, and Dr. McCann's presentation of Ekips' innovative research was recently honoured as "Best Paper" out of over 4,700 presentations at the Fall 2005 Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting in Boston.

The Breathmeter has already been actively used in numerous clinical research settings through a partnership with the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Lung Association. The technology will be featured at an upcoming Optical Society of America meeting, to be held on February 5-9, 2006 at Incline Village, NV. Ekips has attracted over $2.7 million in peer-reviewed federal and state research funding since its initiation of operations in 2001 after being spun out of the University of Oklahoma.

"Ekips continues to offer phenomenal benefits in critical applications for society. The innovative products like the Breathmeter will enhance human lives and demonstrate the leading role of academic achievement in economic development," said Tom Landers, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.

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