High-Tech Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital invest in SurgicEye GmbH
December 12, 2008
The German start-up company SurgicEye GmbH offers solutions for intra-operative imaging and instrument navigation. The first product of SurgicEye implements the innovative freehand SPECT technology for detection, localization and guided biopsy of sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer. This will allow surgical procedures to be more sensitive, more reliable and less invasive.
In the U.S. more than 125.000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year. Approximately 90.000 of those patients can benefit from a better therapy with help of the product of SurgicEye. With the freehand SPECT technology SurgicEye introduces a novel intra-operative 3D imaging modality and a navigation system that can aid the surgeon in the decision making process. The inclusion of navigation further supports the maximization of the success rate of surgical procedures and the minimization of follow-up treatments. The freehand SPECT technology is designed to fit smoothly in the surgical workflow and to be combined with existing devices, as well as other novel imaging and navigation modalities in the operating room.
SurgicEye was founded as a spin-off company resulting from the long-year collaboration of the Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures (CAMP) and the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Klinikum rechts der Isar, both institutions of Technische Universität München (TUM). The investment of High-Tech Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital will allow SurgicEye to bring the system through the first clinical trials, install the first prototypes in several European reference sites and gather the documentation needed for product certification.
Dr. Joerg Traub, CEO and co-founder of SurgicEye, is convinced of having found in High-Tech Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital “a strong base to bring the idea to a relevant clinical innovation”. Prof. Dr. Navab, co-founder and scientific advisor of SurgicEye, thinks that “the basic idea behind freehand SPECT is one of the most brilliant and relevant ideas of my (his) invention portfolio with over 40 granted patents and 20 patent applications”. „Freehand SPECT is not only going to change the future of the sentinel lymph node biopsy, but will also make other medical interventions more sensitive, safer and less stressful for the patients” according to Dr. Bernd Goergen, Senior Investment Manager of High-Tech Gründerfonds. “We are convinced that the excellent and multidisciplinary management team will leverage the advanced development stage of the technology and rapidly turn it into sustainable market success and a broad product portfolio”. Monika Steger, Senior Investment Manager of Bayern Kapital, complements “the freehand SPECT technology targets a highly interesting market that can contribute to the growing trend of developments towards sustainable health care.”
The coach and advisor during the foundation process in Munich, Dr. Rainer Herbeck, finds that “the close work of clinicians (Nuclear Medicine doctors), engineers and computer scientists is exemplary. The steps given by the company since its foundation are immense in terms of certification and clearance for medical use of the protected new methods”.
Co-founders, Prof. Dr. Schwaiger and PD Dr. Buck from the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Klinikum rechts der Isar see that “the intra-operative navigation technology developed by SurgicEye will contribute to the increase of precision and reliability of surgical procedures. The registration of available imaging data with one of the newly introduced methods will further enable the detection and subsequent surgical removal of small tumor deposits.”
The team of SurgicEye GmbH has been laurelled last year with high distinctions in the business plan competitions IBTEC 2007 (technology, international, 1st price), Science4Life (life sciences, German wide, 4th place) and Münchner Businessplanwettbewerb (“Munich Business Plan Competition”, innovative products, South German wide, 2nd price).
About SurgicEye GmbH in Munich, Germany:
The German Start-up company SurgicEye GmbH offers solutions for intra-operative imaging and instrument navigation. The first product of SurgicEye implements the so called freehand SPECT technology for detection, localization and guided biopsy of sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer. This will enable such surgical procedures to be more sensitive, more reliable and less invasive.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds, Bonn, Germany:
The High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, up-and-coming technology companies, which implement promising research results in the industry. The start-up companies are planned to lead their R&D projects to the production of a prototype or a “proof of concepts” or market launch by means of the seed financing of up to 500k EUR. The High-Tech Gründerfonds has a fund volume of around 272m EUR. Investors of the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the KfW bank group as well as the six industrial groups BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss.
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Bernd Goergen
Phone: +49 228 / 965685-00
Fax: +49 228 / 965685-50
About Seed Fonds Bayern from Bayern Kapital, Landhut, Germany:
The Seedfonds Bayern was started in 2003. With a fund size of 22 million Euro it is focused on investments in early stage technology companies in Bavaria. The fund is managed by Bayern Kapital which was founded in 1995 by the Bavarian Government as part of the campaign “Initiative Bavarian Future” and to provide young and innovated Bavarian companies with venture capital. Up to date Bayern Kapital has invested in over 165 innovative high-tech companies with a total investment volume of about 135 million Euro. Overall, Bayern Kapital now manages a fund volume of almost 190 million Euro and implement the Clusterfonds Bayern concept with a fund volume of furthermore 75 million Euro.