Phase Focus raises £370k to take the company towards its first commercial deals
May 13, 2010 – Fusion, the university IP commercialisation company that turns university IP into business, is pleased to announce that Phase Focus, its Sheffield-based microscopy company, has raised £370,000 to help take the company through to its first commercial deals.
The investment round comprised: Fusion (£175,000), White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund (£175,000), and The Viking Fund (£20,000). Post funding Fusion owns a 54.2% stake in Phase Focus.
The Phase Focus Virtual Lens® eliminates the need for high-quality lenses in microscopes by transferring the image-producing step to a computer programme. This disruptive innovation is expected to revolutionise microscopy, not only by eliminating the restrictions and performance limitations of today’s conventional focussing devices, but also by enabling a range of new capabilities including post-acquisition focussing and high-contrast stain-free imaging.
The Virtual Lens has been demonstrated in all three of the Company’s initially targeted wavelength regimes (optical, electron and X-ray microscopy.) This new funding will enable the Company to further develop its Virtual Lens product, and to solidify relationships with key OEM’s in the $2.2 billion laboratory R&D microscopy market, the $700 million cellular assays market, and the $2.1 billion semiconductor metrology market.
David Baynes, CEO of Fusion said: “Phase Focus continues to excite us. This is a world leading disruptive technology that continues to have the potential to revolutionise the huge global microscopy market.”
For further information please contact:
David Baynes, CEO
Tony Gardiner, CFO
+44 (0)114 275 5555
Tim Anderson / Lisa Baderoon / Catherine Breen
+44 (0)20 7466 5000
Chris Howard, Corporate Finance
Catherine Leftley, Corporate Finance
David Banks, Corporate Broking
+44 (0)20 7107 8000
Fusion IP plc, previously called Biofusion plc, was established in 2002 to commercialise university‐generated intellectual property. Fusion IP has signed long term agreements with two of the UK’s leading research intensive universities, the University of Sheffield and Cardiff University, giving a combined R&D spend attributable to Fusion IP of approximately £185m a year.
Fusion’s first agreement was a ten‐year exclusive arrangement with the University of Sheffield giving it the right to commercialise (through both the creation of spin‐out companies and licensing) research, owned by the University, initially in the area of medical life sciences. This agreement was expanded in July 2008 to include all non‐life science research‐generated IP such as energy, engineering and electronics. Fusion has significant shareholdings in a portfolio of Sheffield University spin‐out companies including Simcyp, Magnomatics, Diurnal and Phase Focus.
In January 2007, Fusion completed a ten year exclusive agreement with Cardiff University, also giving it the right to commercialise (through the creation of spin‐out companies) Cardiff University’s research‐generated IP. Fusion has significant shareholdings in a portfolio of Cardiff University spin‐out companies including Mesuro, Abcellute, Medaphor and Q‐Chip.
On 2 December 2009, Fusion announced that it had raised approximately £3.2 million through a fund raising and that, as a result of its participation in such fund raising, IP Group plc (“IP Group”) held approximately 19.8% of Fusion. Fusion has also entered into a Co‐Investment Agreement with IP Group under which IP Group has the right to acquire, for cash, 20% of Fusion’s equity in any new Fusion portfolio company. As Fusion normally owns 60% of any new portfolio company at start‐up, IP Group’s shareholding will normally equate to a 12% stake in the new portfolio company.
Fusion IP also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Finance Wales, the provider of commercial funding to Wales‐based SMEs, which outlines a strategy of co‐investment in opportunities arising from the Cardiff Agreement.
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