Fusion IP backs keyhole surgery investment

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Fusion IP, the group that turns University research into business, said its investment Asalus Medical Instruments has raised £300,000 in funding following a successful pre-clinical study of its electrosurgical smoke clearance device Innervision.

Sheffield-based Fusion said the funds will be used to start Innervision’s first clinical study, subject to regulatory approval, and begin the process of scaling up the technology ahead of its expected launch in 2013.

Innervision is one of a number of keyhole surgery devices being developed by Asalus.

Its other two products are Surehold, a multi-functional device for manipulating tissues and organs and Snugport, an access port.

The £300,000 investment comes from existing investors Fusion, Finance Wales and IP Group.

Investors have an option to invest a further £400,000, subject to investor approval and the achievement of various milestones. Following the initial £300,000 investment, Fusion will have a 46 per cent undiluted shareholding in Asalus.

Peter Grant, operations director of Fusion, said: “Innervision, which provides a simple and highly effective means of maintaining a clear visual field during laparoscopic surgery, continues to meet its development milestones as well as excite surgeons and distributors alike.

“The product answers a clear requirement within the sector and we are very pleased with the market feedback and progress of this novel product.

“Asalus is a product of our strong working relationship with Cardiff University, with whom we continue to identify and develop further exciting inventions.”

Dominic Griffiths, managing director of Asalus said: “2011 was a fantastic year, with development work completed on time and on budget.

“Our investors continue to recognise the potential value of our products and our ability to deliver. These funds will allow us to reach the critical milestone of completing a clinical trial with Innervision and the excellent results obtained in the GLP preclinical study give us confidence that the trial will meet its endpoints”.

Ann Casey, investment executive at Finance Wales, said: “Asalus has so far achieved all its milestones on time and to budget to achieve excellent pre-clinical outcomes for Innervision.

“With this further investment, we’re confident the company will successfully complete clinical trials.”