A biomedical imaging company that was launched as a University of Sussex spin-off in 2011 has been bought as part of a deal worth nearly £800,000.
On 16 May TexRAD was one of two companies bought by Feedback plc, an AIM-listed company specialising in medical imaging tools. Based on research by Sussex academics, TexRAD develops and markets a radical new imaging software that can extract vital additional information from routinely acquired whole-body diagnostic images of patients with cancer and other diseases and can assist clinicians in improved decision-making, i.e. prognosis, disease characterisation and response to treatment.
The software, which is currently being employed as a research tool in a number of prestigious clinical and research hospitals around the world uses a patented technology that extracts and quantifies otherwise visually imperceptible texture features from existing radiological images such as CT, MRI, mammography, ultrasound and possibly other types of medical images e.g. pathological.
A number of high-impact research publications have demonstrated the potential for TexRAD to assist clinicians in optimising patient care based on risk and severity of the disease and potentially to modify treatment early and improve patient outcome.
TexRAD was originally a joint venture between the University of Sussex, Imaging Equipment Ltd, Cambridge Computed Imaging Ltd (CCI) and Miles Medical Pty Ltd, based on research by Professor Chris Chatwin, Dr Balaji Ganeshan and Dr Rupert Young from the Department of Engineering and Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and Professor Ken Miles (formerly BSMS).
Cancer clinicians who have already used the TexRAD software have been impressed by the results – Andrew D. Smith MD PhD, Director of Radiology Research, Body Radiologist and Oncologic Imager Assistant Professor from Mississippi, USA, said:
“TexRAD software has allowed us to predict survival outcomes in several different tumors and treatment situations in a research setting. The data acquisition process and analysis has been streamlined for large studies, and the applications and support by TexRAD software engineers and leaders has led to some amazing results.”
Ronald L Korn MD PhD is CEO and Founder of Imaging Endpoints Core Lab, an Arizona-based laboratory working on Phase I-III drug trials. He said:
“TexRAD is a very powerful software analytical tool that allows for in-depth evaluation of solid tumors for predictive, prognostic and treatment response categorization. We have used it in our Core Imaging lab on multiple occasions to help accelerate drug development for our pharmaceutical clients. It truly offers advanced information unlike any other technology in the field!”
The software was developed commercially following a grant from the University’s Enterprise Development Fund, which was set up to back commercially viable innovations based on University research and help to bring them to market. It provides funding and support to help academics get new products, ideas and creative solutions off the ground.
The purchase of TexRAD by Feedback will enable the investment necessary to gain the relevant regulatory approvals so that the software can become a standard clinical tool.
Professor Michael Davies, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University, said: “We are delighted that Feedback plc recognises the clinical and commercial potential of TexRAD. We look forward to seeing the further development of the product, and hope to work with the company in doing so.
“Innovative companies and other organisations are beginning to see the huge benefits of collaborating with universities like Sussex, where we are carrying out internationally high-quality research in a number of areas. By working together, we can ensure that our research has both lasting academic value and impact that benefits and enriches society.”
Feedback plc bought TexRAD and CCI and the underlying intellectual property relating to TexRAD for a total of £473,900. An additional £300,000 has been raised through a share subscription and will fund the growth of the businesses.
Feedback’s Chief Executive, Nick Shepheard, said: “TexRAD and CCI have made great strides in developing the business from original research at the University. Aided by the enlarged group’s balance sheet and access to public markets via our AIM listing, we look forward to building on their successes to date and introducing the next generation of their image analysis tools to a wider market.”