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Optiscan secures $16.7m research and development funding

Optiscan Imaging has created a pen-sized digital microscope that offers the power of real-time 3D single-cell imaging. Credit: File

Optiscan Imaging says it has successfully raised $16.7 million from a recent entitlement issue as the company looks to pursue research and development projects, in addition to developing new clinical devices.

The raise includes $8.8m from entitlement applications and $7.9m allocated to significant underwriters. In a solid show of support, two of Optiscan’s cornerstone investors – Peters Investments and Orchid Capital Investments – fully-subscribed to their entitlements under the pro-rata offer of one fully-paid ordinary share for every three shares held.

Management says the latest funding boost will be used to research rigid and flexible surgical applications, enhance core image-capture capability, and advance artificial intelligence (AI) and telepathology service solutions.

The company’s patented imaging technology houses miniaturised componentry to create a pen-sized digital microscope that offers the power of real-time 3D single-cell imaging – all in the palm of your hand. The microscopic technology can make a real-time diagnosis in-situ, rather than the old system of taking a biopsy that then needs to be sent to a pathology lab for analysis.

"The funds raised will provide the necessary financial resources to execute the next phase of our growth strategy. Our focus on developing and commercialising new clinical devices for large addressable markets, enhancing our market-leading image capture technology, and advancing Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) service solutions in AI diagnosis support and Telepathology, will propel Optiscan to the forefront of real-time digital pathology and precision surgery". Optiscan Imaging managing director and chief executive officer Dr Camile Farah

Despite rapid advances in the tech space, many medical diagnostic procedures remain complex, invasive and time-consuming, often requiring collaboration between multiple clinicians within a bigger healthcare network system.

Optiscan is also developing digital pathology platforms to enable real-time collaboration between surgeons and pathologists. Management recently inked an exclusive collaboration with Canadian software developer Prolucid Technologies to develop AI algorithms using its medical images to enable immediate clinical decision-making.

Expected to take between 18 and 24 months, the cutting-edge innovative project will help clinicians provide the best-possible patient outcomes through the earlier detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Optiscan probes are fibre-optic fluorescence confocal microscopes that are built for instant digital solutions in the medical and life-science imaging sectors. Images are generated by simply touching the probe against the tissue of interest.

Confocal microscopes are a of a particular type that collect light from a small spot on the specimen to provide greater resolution. Further studies are being conducted into the use of the device for detecting breast cancer, with a 42-patient trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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