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UCLB Pitch Event Round-up

On February 29th, MedCity hosted its first collaborative Pitch event with UCLB to showcase 5 promising data driven MedTech Spin-offs.

What is a UCLB Pitch Event?

Our pitch events feature some of the most groundbreaking new companies in the MedTech space, all with high growth potential. The event provides an opportunity for early stage investors to not only view the shop window of London life sciences but meet with our innovative researchers and explore common areas of interest that can bring value to all.

The event is made possible by the growth of UK university spin-out investment, which has increased five-fold from £1.06 billion in 2014 to £5.3 billion in 2021, second only to the US in total investment into spinouts. In this rapidly growing environment, UCLB has continued to create successful spinout businesses from UCL’s ground-breaking research, raising £2.75bn investment in the last 5 years alone. During this time, UCLB has become renowned for bringing to market world-leading, world-changing technologies and innovations developed at UCL that have a real and positive impact on people’s lives.

Summary of our last pitch event on 29 February 2024:

Spin-offs in attendance (scroll down for a short bio of each spinoff)

  • Panda Surgical Ltd
  • Diagnosis Biotech Ltd
  • Eye2Gene Ltd
  • WellSpring Ltd
  • Echopoint Medical Ltd

The County Hall was filled with an air of excitement, tinged with nervous anticipation, as a select group of entrepreneurs gathered. Each one was poised to present their innovative technologies for the MedTech sector. With notepads and pens at the ready, investors eagerly listened as the entrepreneurs delivered dynamic ten-minute pitches, highlighting why their technology was primed for success in this rapidly evolving industry.

Throughout the presentations, investors diligently took notes, jotting down details about each spin-off’s capabilities, value propositions, target audiences, and financial projections. They prepared for the subsequent five-minute Q&A sessions, eager to delve deeper into the potential of each venture.

The breadth of innovation showcased was impressive, with spin-offs spanning various niches within the MedTech field, from diagnostic disease detection to state-of-the-art robotic instruments for minimally invasive neurosurgery.

After the presentations concluded, the atmosphere shifted to one of lively networking. Entrepreneurs and investors stayed behind, engaging in animated conversations and forging connections that could shape the future of the MedTech landscape.

Why should investors get involved?

Investing in university spinouts provides investors with access to innovative ventures with high growth potential, and the investors who attended this pitch were impressed by the calibre of the presenting companies. Mark Fisher, the associate director of BioPharm, UCLB has already received interest from several investors regarding ongoing collaborations.

How can investors be part of our next event?

Moving forwards, UCL has joined other leading universities in supporting new government spin-out funding measures and is looking forward to working closely with the investment community to creating a sustained flow of investment into academic research whilst supporting emerging world- changing businesses. We look forward to hosting another joint pitch event with UCLB later this year.

If you’re an Angel investor who would like to be considered for our next UCLB pitch event please contact for more details.

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Spin-off bios

Panda Surgical Ltd

Panda Surgical originates from the lab of one of UCL’s serial entrepreneurs and is developing a first-of-its-kind smart platform for minimally invasive neurosurgery. 20 million patients requiring neurosurgery remain untreated annually – The solution combines handheld robotic instruments and artificial intelligence with the aim to make keyhole neurosurgery, namely brain and spine tumour-removal through small and precise openings, safer and feasible in more clinical cases. Having completed cadaveric studies, the company is preparing to undertake human trials to complete the clinical evaluation for its technical file and regulatory submission. They have secured £1.5M in seed round and have raised £1M in grants for the pre-series A and are asking for £2M for product development.

Diagnosis Biotech Ltd

DB Ltd developed its original ideas during the COVID pandemic and demonstrated a diagnostic approach by proxy; that being the detection Coronavirus by swabbing the screen of a mobile phone proving 81 – 100% accuracy in contagious people with a high viral load. Initially supported by the Ganesha Lab Academy in Chile, DB is now established in the UK to develop the concept further.

Rodrigo Young is now translating his approach to the detection of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis which has been on the radar of the WHO for more than 30 years and is of increasing concern in the developed world.

Eye2Gene Ltd

Nikolas Pontikos secured a significant award from NIHR in 2022 to develop the Eye2Gene technology for rare inherited retinal diseases. In collaboration with clinical colleagues in Europe and Japan, Nikolas is developing an AI approach to the recognition of patterns of photoreceptor death using standard ophthalmic technologies and rapidly identifying the causative gene to help manage disease progression and identifying patient cohorts that would be suitable for available therapies of which there is an increasing number in late stage trials. Eye2 Gene is an early stage opportunity.

WellSpring Ltd

Wellspring is designed to improve the information-giving and consent processes in women’s health. This online platform provides women and their families with an immersive, interactive and scalable resource of accurate, up-to-date and evidence-based information about procedures and processes in women’s health. It allows patients to access information in their own time and at their own pace.

The application developed to-date has been beta-tested on women presenting with a range of health issues and pregnancy. It is already being used by 39K women across the world. The aim is to increase the content of the application and launch it with early adopters in the healthcare system. The technology lies outside of the regulatory environment for medical devices/products and would be subject to adoption alongside national guidelines and best practice. Their ask is £500k over the next 2 years.

Echopoint Medical Ltd

Established in 2019, Echopoint is a later stage opportunity seeking to close its latest funding round with £4M promised. A syndication of up to £2M is desired. Echopoint’s focus is on the diagnosis and delivery of treatment of patients with chest pain, with ischemia and no obstructions in their coronary arteries (INOCA). The device is a microcatheter with integrated fibre optic physiological sensing ultra-thin probes with integrated optical ultrasound imaging. The iKOr platform originates from initial research funded by the EPSRC generating more than 50 peer reviewed publications. The technique is fully compatible with clinical workflows and first in human studies were completed in 2023.  The technology is protected by five patent families filed between 2014 and 2018 that are all licensed exclusively to Echopoint.

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