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Optical tech spin-out looking for money


  • By Neil Martin
  • News

 

A spin-out company from the University of Manchester is looking to raise money for what it describes as a ‘unique’ optical technology for the rapid screening of eye diseases.

MuMac is a Manchester-based technology research and development company, and is aiming to improve the health of a growing and ageing population.

The money will be for the market launch of its first product and to support its R&D activities in ophthalmology diagnostics.

The first product ready to be commercialised is the RapiDA instrument. This provides a fast test that can detect early-stage Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – often before any obvious biological changes can be detected with imaging devices.

MuMac Chief Executive is Dennis Camilleri (pictured above), a former physicist and optical engineer, who has managed technology start-ups through to exit stage over the past 35 years.

He said: “People are now living longer and AMD is right up there in causing vision impairment in certain age groups, with around 2.5 million sufferers in the UK alone. Globally it is forecast that nearly 200 million people will have AMD by 2020.

“MuMac, which follows years of research by founding University academics Dr Ian Murray, now MuMac chief scientific officer and Dr Jeremiah Kelly and David Carden, is meeting a healthcare need through the launch of RapiDA.

“The product, which is patented and has its IP, is small, user-friendly and can perform a screening and identify early-stage AMD in 5-10 minutes.”

He added: “It’s estimated that 200,000 ophthalmologists and optometrists are potential users of the RapiDA.

“On top of that, the ophthalmic diagnostics market is forecast to grow to US$3.6 billion by the end of 2025.

“All this makes it a very exciting time for MuMac and our RapiDA product.

“There are of course competing technologies for all sorts of retinal diseases, but ours for AMD is fast and accurate.

“It’s also small and affordable, which is very important, as the first question optometrists always ask is how big the product is because space in their retail outlets is very much at a premium.”

The University of Manchester’s agent for technology transfer, UMI3, has supported the research over the past three years and will soon transfer all the IP into the company.