Vascular imaging medtech raises $8.5 million

Sydney medtech startup Vexev has raised $8.5 million to ramp up global expansion of its 3D medical imaging device.

The round was led by San Francisco-based deep-tech VC Neotribe Ventures with Blackbird, along with vascular surgeons and imaging firms, Propeller founder Rory San Miguel and Dovetail’s Benjamin Humphrey

The new capital is intended to further build out the team and new facilities in Sydney’s Surry Hills, as well as completing the development, regulatory approvals and market access of Vexev’s first device and software. It is the third increase for the startup, bringing the total invested capital to $10 million.

The medtech startup is finalizing industrial design for regulatory approval in the US and Australia, hopefully in 2023.

Vexev was co-founded in 2018 by Dr John Carroll and Dr Eamonn Colley after studying the links between blood flow in veins and arteries and the development of vascular disease.

They identified how fluid dynamics modeling could play a greater role in clinical diagnostics, especially in earlier disease detection and prediction. So they built a peripheral scanning system that scans a patient’s arms and legs in 3D. It provides a visualization of blood flow behavior over each heartbeat.

The device will initially be deployed in imaging labs and radiology chains, as well as in point-of-care locations such as dialysis clinics where the high prevalence of peripheral vascular disease requires ongoing monitoring and management, with many diagnoses being missed entirely or picked up only in final stage.

Dr. Carroll said the technology they’ve developed improves patient outcomes while enabling a shift to quality-based care.

“The current standard of vascular imaging, which is usually performed manually using portable ultrasound devices that require considerable skill, severely limits the accessibility and quality of scanning,” he said.

“As a result, vascular scans are only performed as a last step when a problem already exists – far too late for prevention. Vexev’s technology creates a new paradigm for low-cost, high-precision vascular scans that can take place further upstream.

Its co-founder, Dr. Colley, hopes to help patients through proactive, earlier diagnosis and potentially save millions of lives by using the data collected for prediction and prevention.

“Vascular surgeons and clinicians need consistent three-dimensional imaging, much like that seen in CT and MRI machines, but at a lower cost and risk to the patients,” he said.

“Requiring highly trained operators to be physically present leads to disproportionate outcomes between patients living in large cities and patients in more rural or regional areas. The rapid adoption of remote medicine has certainly made positive progress, but the tools still need to catch up so that they are accessible to those who need it most.”

Neotribe Ventures partner Neeraj Hablani, who joins the Vexev board, said their idea could be a game-changer to improve patient longevity and reduce health care costs

“Dr. Caroll, Dr. Colley and the Vexev team designed new hardware and software targeting vascular disease,” he said.

“Patients now have access to standardised, fast and highly accurate scans of their limbs. Clinicians will get the data they need to take predictive action.”

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