Changho Chang (Santec) and Marijn van OS (Scinvivo)
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Scinvivo, an Eindhoven-based medtech start-up aiming to change cancer diagnostics, has closed an investment round of €4.7 million. Santec OIS Corporation, the NLC Health Impact fund, current shareholders, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) Innovation loan are behind the investment.

Why is this important?

A faster and more accurate method for bladder cancer diagnosis can result in a more precise and personalized treatment for patients. Scinvivo’s catheter is enabling

Scinvivo wants to make cancer diagnostics faster and more accurate, enabling the reduction of unnecessary surgeries and improving the quality of patients’ lives. The start-up develops imaging catheters based on optical coherence tomography (OCT) that enables physicians to view high-resolution cross-sectional images of the tissue and see what is happening inside the bladder wall tissue. According to the company, this approach enables more precise minimal invasive surgeries and significantly improves cancer diagnosis, resulting in a more precise personalized treatment. Bladder cancer is chosen as the first field for the imaging platform.

Clinical trials

With this investment, Scinvivo aims to improve the catheter, the OCT system, and the software to be used in the clinic in an appealing way for urologists. Clinical trials are set up to prove the product’s benefits and will prepare the necessary documentation to obtain CE certification. Scinvivo is also working on the go-to-market strategy. That’s why the company wants to extend the current team not only with engineers but also with sales and marketing employees.

CEO Marijn van Os said that with Santec, Scinvivo can strengthen its supply chain and get a foothold in the Japanese market. “Partnering with Santec also means that we secured our access to their laser technology, which is crucial for our development.” He added that with NLC’s Health Impact funds, the biggest investor in Europe for medical start-ups, “we have an investor on board who understands the specific dynamics in the medical venturing world.” CMO Maaike de Jong expects this investment to bring Scinvivo a step closer to the market introduction of its OCT imaging platform. “We look forward to close collaboration with Santec and obtaining the first in vivo clinical results.”

An RVO spokesperson said the partnership exemplifies the organization’s commitment to fostering innovation with tangible benefits for the Netherlands. “Scinvivo’s pioneering photonic technology holds great promise in revolutionizing early diagnosis for bladder cancer patients, potentially reducing the need for invasive surgeries and significantly impacting the healthcare system.”

Photonics or Medtech

Although photonics is essential for Scinvivo’s imaging catheters, the start-up’s story focuses more on its healthcare applications than on the underlying technology. “Although we’re all engineers and what we do is hardcore photonics, it’s really only about how we can help doctors perform better”, said Van Os. “Of course, we’re proud that we managed to build a miniature laser scanner inside a tiny catheter, but what’s crucial is the achievements of the device.”