Series‑D over € 13 million: Bayern Kapital invests again in iThera Medical

Photo: Ulrich Kruse, Invest­ment Mana­ger at Lead Inves­tor TRUMPF Venture
21. Decem­ber 2022

Landshut/Munich — Bayern Kapi­tal, one of the most expe­ri­en­ced and active growth inves­tors in the German high-tech land­s­cape, is once again inves­ting in iThera Medi­cal with funds from the Bava­rian Growth Fund. The Munich-based MedTech start-up is active in the field of optoacoustic imaging for medi­cal diagnostics and has deve­lo­ped the laser light-based “MSOT” tech­no­logy (Multis­pec­tral Optoacoustic Tomo­gra­phy) for the detec­tion of various dise­ase patterns such as cancer or fibro­sis. Other inves­tors in the Series D round with a total volume of EUR 13 million are TRUMPF Venture as lead inves­tor, the Euro­pean Inno­va­tion Coun­cil Fund of the Euro­pean Commis­sion and the exis­ting inves­tors Mey Capi­tal Matrix, BayBG Baye­ri­sche Betei­li­gungs­ge­sell­schaft mbH, Fluxu­nit, Falk Stra­scheg Holding and Occi­dent Group.

In clini­cal prac­tice, a wide range of diagnostic proce­du­res is essen­tial to diagnose dise­ase and moni­tor response to treat­ment. In many areas, howe­ver, there is an unmet need for accu­rate, objec­tive, and quan­ti­ta­tive methods.

The unique multis­pec­tral optoacoustic tomo­gra­phy (MSOT) from iThera Medi­cal GmbH promi­ses a breakthrough here. The MedTech company was spun off from Helm­holtz Zentrum München in 2010 with the aim of commer­cia­li­zing rese­arch results in the field of inno­va­tive medi­cal imaging methods and today employs 45 people. iThera’s MSOT tech­no­logy uses the photoacoustic effect — the conver­sion of light energy into sound waves — to charac­te­rize and diffe­ren­tiate diffe­rent tissue types in the body and convert them into 3D images. In contrast to estab­lis­hed imaging methods, anato­mi­cal, func­tio­nal and mole­cu­lar tissue infor­ma­tion can thus be displayed for the first time at a depth of several centi­me­ters in high reso­lu­tion. This enab­les physi­ci­ans to make diagno­ses early, non-inva­­si­­vely and in real time — for example in the case of vascu­lar, fibro­tic or tumor dise­a­ses. MSOT has already demons­tra­ted its poten­tial clini­cal value in a variety of studies and is curr­ently being used in clini­cal rese­arch at leading acade­mic hospi­tals worldwide.

The company will use the new funding to advance the tran­si­tion of MSOT from rese­arch to routine clini­cal use. To this end, iThera Medi­cal is deve­lo­ping an MSOT device opti­mi­zed for routine clini­cal use in order to obtain regu­la­tory appro­val for use in Europe and the United States (CE and FDA appro­val) and to expand the clini­cal evidence from previous studies.

“The funding round is the next important step in taking our MSOT tech­no­logy from a rese­arch tool to a diagnostic tool in the clini­cal setting, which we believe will be a game-chan­­ger for milli­ons of pati­ents around the world,” said Chris­tian Wiest, CEO and co-foun­­­der of iThera Medi­cal. “The support of our inves­tors — both new and exis­ting — will enable us to realize this vision.”

Ulrich Kruse, Invest­ment Mana­ger at TRUMPF Venture (photo), commen­ted, “iThera Medical’s tech­no­logy is capa­ble of deli­vering the next breakthrough in medi­cal imaging. As a company with roots in photo­nics and medi­cal tech­no­logy, we are plea­sed to support MSOT’s conti­nued deve­lo­p­ment and anti­ci­pate a success­ful launch in medi­cal imaging.”

“MSOT addres­ses several criti­cal limi­ta­ti­ons of today’s non-inva­­sive in vivo imaging tech­no­lo­gies, combi­ning the ease of use and depth pene­tra­tion of conven­tio­nal hand­held ultra­sound systems with unpre­ce­den­ted high-reso­lu­­tion opti­cal infor­ma­tion down to the mole­cu­lar level,” explai­ned Dr. Georg Ried, mana­ging direc­tor of Bayern Kapi­tal. “This will mini­mize risks for pati­ents and reduce finan­cial burdens in several areas of health­care systems world­wide. We are there­fore very plea­sed to conti­nue on the path we have embar­ked on toge­ther in the future.”

About iThera Medial:
Foun­ded in 2010, iThera Medi­cal deve­lops and markets optoacoustic imaging systems for precli­ni­cal and clini­cal rese­arch. More recently, the company has begun using its tech­no­logy for routine clini­cal diagnostics in a variety of dise­ase settings, inclu­ding cancer, inflamma­tion, fibro­sis and cardio­vascu­lar dise­ase. Optoacoustic imaging uses the photoacoustic effect — the conver­sion of light energy into acoustic signals — to visua­lize and quan­tify opti­cal contrast in deep tissue with high spatial and tempo­ral resolution.

About Bayern Kapital:
Bayern Kapi­tal GmbH, based in Lands­hut, is the venture/growth capi­tal company of the Free State of Bava­ria. It accom­pa­nies inno­va­tive high-tech compa­nies in the Free State through various growth phases, from seed to later stage, with equity capi­tal in the amount of 0.25 to 25 million euros. Bayern Kapi­tal often fills gaps in the VC sector in proven consor­tium constel­la­ti­ons with private inves­tors (busi­ness angels, family offices and corpo­rate ventures).

Bayern Kapi­tal mana­ges specia­li­zed invest­ment funds with a volume of around 700 million euros. Since its foun­da­tion in 1995 on the initia­tive of the state government, the wholly owned subsi­diary of LfA Förder­bank Bayern has so far inves­ted around 400 million euros of its own equity capi­tal in around 300 start-ups and scale-ups in sectors such as life scien­ces, soft­ware & IT, mate­ri­als & new mate­ri­als, nano­tech­no­logy and envi­ron­men­tal tech­no­logy. As a result, more than 8,000 jobs have been perma­nently crea­ted in Bava­ria in sustainable compa­nies. The active port­fo­lio curr­ently compri­ses over 80 companies.

Examp­les of nume­rous ground­brea­king success stories that Bayern Kapi­tal has been invol­ved in early on include EOS (today the world’s leading tech­no­logy provi­der in indus­trial 3D prin­ting of metals and plastics), Proglove, Fazua, SimS­cale, Scomp­ler, egym, Parcel­lab, Cobrai­ner, Quan­tum Systems, Casavi, Theva, Riskme­thods, Tubu­lis, Cata­lym, Immu­nic, Sirion and many more.

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