University of Oxford spinout raises money to develop brain aneurysm device

Oxford Endovascular, a medical device company spinout from the University of Oxford in England, has raised £2m (approximately $2.9 million) to develop a small metallic mesh tube to treat intracranial aneurysms.

Neuroradiology professor James Byrne and engineering science professor Zhong You designed the device.

Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC, Parkwalk Advisors and other private investors provided money to the company to help it test the device in clinical trials.

According to a  news release on Jan. 6 announcing the investment, “the technology uses a special laser-cut metal alloy which has a shape-memory. It can be posted into a catheter during surgery, inserted into the brain and opened up into a tiny mesh tube (‘flow diverter’) that fits into the natural shape of the blood vessel.”

Oxford Endovascular CEO Mike Karim said one-third of people with aneurysms die, while one-third of survivors will suffer permanent neurological damage if they do not receive treatment.

Isis Innovation, the University’s research and technology company, field patents and built the business and marketing plan for the device.

“We believe the Oxford Endovascular device will dramatically improve outcomes for patients, as many cannot be treated with current technologies,” Oxford Endovascular chairman Brian Howlett said in a news release. “Physicians will be able to place the device more accurately and in a wider range of patients ensuring treatment is safer and more effective. Our aim is that they will also be able to treat deeper brain blood vessels not accessible with existing devices.”