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