Fluxunit, Osram’s venture capital investment unit, and Bayern Kapital managed Wachstumsfonds Bayern invest in medical imaging startup iThera Medical. The Munich-based company is active in the field of optoacoustic imaging for medical diagnostics und has developed the so-called MSOT technology (Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography). MSOT is a laser-light-enabled technology which allows for the facile, yet precise identification of tumors and inflammatory diseases without the need for invasive procedures. Beside Fluxunit and Wachstumsfonds Bayern, existing investors BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft and the family office EXTOREL participate in this seven million Euros financing round. iThera Medical intends to use the fresh capital for the continuing development of its MSOT systems and for the expansion into the clinical market.
iThera‘s MSOT technology utilizes the so-called photoacoustic effect – the conversion of light energy into sound waves – to characterize and differentiate various types of body tissue and translate the collected information into 3D images. In contrast to established imaging modalities, MSOT for the first time allows to display and quantify concentrations and spatial distributions of biological marker molecules such as hemoglobin, melanin, water and lipids. MSOT thus enables doctors to diagnose illnesses and diseases with higher specificity, non-invasively and in real time. In many cases, such diagnoses were previously only possible through invasive procedures including endoscopies or biopsies. Of particular importance are such capabilities in the continuous monitoring and therapy control of chronic inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease or the identification of tumorous tissue for example in breast cancer. „With its technology, iThera sets a new standard for medical diagnostics. The light-based technology can help doctors perform diagnoses more easily and more accurately which spares patients incriminatory procedures and saves the healthcare systems significant cost”, explains Fluxunit’s managing director, Ulrich Eisele. Osram has long been active in the area of lighting for medical applications such as microscopy and endoscopy.
Bavaria’s finance minister Franz Josef Pschierer welcomes the investment of Wachstumsfonds Bayern in iThera Medical: „The company is exemplary for Bavarian entrepreneurship: to implement an idea from fundamental research in academia all the way to its application in a highly relevant market. We want to expand our leadership role in medical technologies and Wachstumsfonds Bayern plays an important role therein.“