Michelson Diagnostics shareholders invest £1.9m to expand sales of
skin cancer scanner
28 November 2011
Michelson Diagnostics has announced an investment of £1.912
million by shareholders Octopus Investments, Catapult Venture Managers
and individual investors from London Business Angels.
The funds will be used to expand sales & support infrastructure
in USA and Europe to respond to growing demand for Michelson’s
revolutionary unique laser scanning technology, which can image skin
and other surface tissue at a much higher resolution than ever
The Company’s first product based on its patented multi-beam
optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology, the VivoSight
scanner, is expected to revolutionise the market for the
non-invasive diagnosis and treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer
The VivoSight scanner has already won CE & Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) regulatory clearance for clinical use in Europe
and the USA, and has entered commercial service at leading
dermatology clinics in USA and Germany, where it is attracting much
Michelson’s VivoSight scanner enables 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
This is expected to make non-melanoma skin cancer treatment more
efficient and cost-effective, and to be better for the patient by
reducing unnecessary surgery. Looking to the future, the VivoSight
scanner also has the potential to guide and monitor the use of next
generation of non-invasive topical treatments for NMSC that are
currently in clinical development.
At a time where non-melanoma skin cancer is said to be reaching
epidemic proportions, an estimated 3.5 million new cases p.a. in the
US, accounting for 4.5% of all Medicare cancer costs, and costing
the NHS around £100 million p.a. in the UK[2,3], this breakthrough
laser scanning technology could make a real difference.
Professor Dan Siegel, a leading skin cancer surgeon with private
practise in Smithtown, NY, and Professor of Dermatology, SUNY
Downstate, says: “Michelson’s VivoSight OCT system appears to be
able to differentiate cutaneous tumours from normal epithelium and
stroma, in real time, and has great potential in helping
pre-operation delineation of tumour margins, which can be both a
time and cost saver in the US Health System.”
Jon Holmes, CEO of Michelson Diagnostic, commented: “In the last
12 months, the Company has made a lot of progress. We have built a
rapidly growing installed base in the clinics of key-opinion-leader
dermatologists, who have generated much clinical data and
publications that demonstrate the great value of using VivoSight
scans to reveal hidden detail of skin lesions. As a result,
VivoSight is now being used, on a routine commercial basis, by top
dermatologists to help skin cancer sufferers. This investment
will enable us to expand our sales, customer support, and production
infrastructure, to respond to growing demand in USA and Europe.”
Although its main focus is on non-melanoma skin cancer, during
the year it also announced preliminary findings that suggest its
technology could provide a breakthrough in the early detection of
psoriatic arthritis6, a common complication of psoriasis.
Simon Andrews led the deal on behalf of Octopus. Funds were
provided from the Octopus Titan VCT funds, the Eureka EIS Portfolio
Service, Octopus Venture Partners, Advantage Enterprise & Innovation
Fund, and individual investors.
1. H. W. Rogers, M. A. Weinstock, A. R. Harris, et al. (2010)
"Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States,
2006" Arch Dermatol, 146(3), pp. 283-7.
2. S. Morris, B. Cox & N. Bosanquet (2009) "Cost of skin cancer
in England" Eur J Health Econ, 10(3), pp. 267-73.
3. Cancer Research UK (2005) "Skin Cancer in the UK - 2005,"
Cancer Research UK.
4. Pomerantza et al. (2011)”Optical Coherence Tomography used as
a Modality to delineate Basal Cell Carcinoma prior to Mohs
Micrographic Surgery” Case Reports in Dermatology Vol.3, pp 212-218.
5. CBS News ‘Healthwatch’,
6. Zehra, S. et al, "Optical Coherence Tomography: A New Tool to
Assess Nail Disease in Psoriasis?" Dermatology (DOI:
10.1159/000329434), S. Karger AG, Basel.
Source: Michelson Diagnostics