01/03/2013

£1.36 million investment from Finance Wales helps Creo Medical develop new medical device to help prevent bowel cancer

A £3 million equity co-investment has spearheaded significant expansion at medical devices company, Creo Medical (Creo) whose new CRoMa system promises safe, precise and cost-effective treatment of pre-cancerous lesions in the bowel.

The equity investment came from an angel investor syndicate and the company’s first institutional investor, Finance Wales. Finance Wales’ £1.36 million investment was pivotal in Creo’s decision to locate its new headquarters in Wales at Chepstow’s Beaufort Park. Since the move, Creo has completed CRoMa’s product development and trials. It has also geared up production and is on course for full commercialisation in 2013.

“These are exciting times for us. This latest investment round has helped us accelerate the development of our latest product, which has great potential to improve success rates in the prevention of bowel cancer,” explained Creo Medical’s Chief Executive, Craig Gulliford.

Expansion has also seen Creo recruit five new staff members, including John Bradshaw as its new Chief Financial Officer. Bradshaw, previously CFO of Cardiff-based Gyrus Medical, said: "Having worked with several of the Creo team before I instantly saw the strength and experience of the team who are developing an exciting technology to address an expanding market. I was delighted to join the team as they embark upon an exciting period for the business."

Gulliford is keen to point out the importance of this investment to Creo: “Securing £3 million of new capital was a significant development for us, as was Finance Wales’ backing as our first institutional investor. We’ve made excellent progress this year since opening our Chepstow headquarters and have achieved all our key milestones. Our new CRoMa system is already attracting great interest from surgeons keen to use it as soon as it becomes available.”

Dr Richard Thompson from Finance Wales’ technology venture investments team who led the Creo investment, said: “We’re delighted Finance Wales’ investment has attracted a company of Creo Medical’s calibre to Wales.  Creo has achieved some tough milestones since moving to Wales and the market opportunity for the CRoMa system is growing. Added to this, Craig and his team have also focused on Creo’s long-term future. They’ve already recruited five new members of staff to complement the existing Creo team and are committed to building a strong, innovation-focussed company.”

Announced earlier this year during Bowel Cancer Awareness week, CRoMa is a unique minimally-invasive microwave and radio frequency tissue dissection system. The first version to be launched aids the fight against bowel cancer, facilitating the endoscopic removal of early stage lesions from the bowel where current treatment options are limited. The Creo Technology is an ideal complement to the expanding bowel cancer screening program targeting earlier diagnosis.

Finance Wales invested in Creo Medical from the £150 million Wales JEREMIE Fund and is one of its growing portfolio of life sciences investments. Finance Wales’ technology venture investments team focuses on early stage technology companies developing novel products.