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Financing › Details

Prothea Technologies–SEVERAL: investment, 202404 financing round Series A €12m co-led by Earlybird + Mérieux Equity Partners


Period Period 2024-04-09
Organisations Money taker Prothea Technologies Ltd.
  Money source SEVERAL
Products Product medical device
  Product 2 venture capital
Persons Person Yianni, John (CryoTherapeutics GmbH 201305 Managing Director)
  Person 2 Bonnamour, Yoann (Mérieux 202012 Associate at Mérieux Equity Partners)

Prothea Technologies Ltd.. (4/9/24). "Press Release: Prothea Technologies Launches with €12M Series A to Innovate Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment". Edinburgh.

> Prothea Technologies launched with €12M Series A to address two main challenges in the management of lung cancer: inaccurate biopsies and limited interventional treatment options for small lesions.

> Round co-led by European investors Earlybird Venture Capital and Merieux Equity Partners, with participation from NRW.BANK and Old College Capital

> Spin-out from the Universities of Edinburgh and Bath, including technologies developed with support from leading organisations including UK Research and Innovation, the Wellcome Trust, CARB-X, and Cancer Research UK

> Round to finance the Company’s First-In-Human (FIH) lung cancer clinical trial (2024-25) for its real-time imaging catheter and initiate the FIH for its therapeutic ablation catheter

Prothea Technologies,, is a private medical technology company with a vision to offer lung cancer biopsy and treatment in a single hospital visit. Lung cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the U.S. and annually claims more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. Screening programmes aim to facilitate the early detection of suspicious lesions, but delivering value from these initiatives requires a significant increase in biopsy performance, presenting a challenge for hospitals already grappling with low biopsy yields and false negatives.

With the closing of the Series A financing, Prothea has in-licensed several patents from the Universities of Edinburgh and Bath to progress their programmes into the clinical phase. Prothea is developing a medical device consisting of a Microendoscope combined with an Image Processing System, which enhances visualisation by providing in situ analysis of lesion structure at a molecular level. Further R&D is planned to develop a laser ablation catheter for the treatment of lesions immediately following visualisation and biopsy. The integration of these two systems (real-time imaging and ablation) will streamline biopsy and treatment into a single hospital visit, reducing time-to-treat from weeks to minutes, thereby relieving hospital pressures and improving patient outcomes.

The financing proceeds will allow Prothea to initiate its FIH clinical trial for the imaging and biopsy device in patients with potentially cancerous lung lesions and progress the FIH for the therapeutic laser ablation catheter. The Company’s clinical pipeline includes an advanced program supported by Wellcome, evaluating Prothea’s technologies to identify lung infections in intensive care patients, enabling earlier selection of optimal drug therapy.

Additional R&D programmes will integrate its Imaging Processing System with robotic surgery systems and other medical imaging modalities. Prothea’s Image Processing Systems measure the differential in time, between healthy and abnormal tissue, for the round trip of light from the laser source and back again. Proprietary software will be developed, enhanced by artificial intelligence, to evaluate these large volume data sets to develop real-time in-procedure insight, supporting clinical decisions.

The Company is led by CEO and exec-Chair Crispin Simon, formerly President of Smith and Nephew’s Endoscopy Division, and CSO/CMO Prof. Kev Dhaliwal, Professor of Molecular Imaging & Healthcare Technology and Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

In addition to the Company representatives, the board of directors is joined by Charles Carignan MD, formerly CMO at Boston Scientific Endosurgery and CEO of several venture-backed companies, Peter Stratford, formerly CTO of BTG plc, Dr. John Yianni representing Earlybird Venture Capital, Dr. Yoann Bonnamour representing Merieux Equity Partners, and Dr. Thomas Raueiser representing NRW.BANK.

Crispin Simon, CEO, states: “We’re delighted to have been able to combine a great team, multiple technology innovations and a strong investment syndicate, and look forward to putting our products at the service of doctors and their patients.”

Prof. Kev Dhaliwal, CMO and CSO, says: “Molecular-level data capture, combined with immediate therapy, holds huge potential in basic science and patient therapy. I’m grateful to the funders who have backed us over the years.”

Dr. John Yianni, Partner at Earlybird Venture Capital, comments: “Earlybird Health supports companies dedicated to advancing patient outcomes, and Prothea’s innovative approach to early visualisation, diagnosis, and treatment of lung cancer aligns perfectly with our mission.”

Dr. Yoann Bonnamour, Director at Merieux Equity Partners, adds: “Mérieux Equity Partners is always interested in multi-disciplinary platforms, and we’re impressed with how Prothea’s photonics technology gives doctors valuable insight at the molecular level.”

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Anne Moore, COO

Earlybird Venture Capital

Founded in 1997, Earlybird Venture Capital invests out of a family of independently managed funds, including flagship funds Digital West (Western Europe), Digital East (Emerging Europe), and Health. With EUR 2 billion under management across all fund streams, 9 IPOs, and 32 trade sales, Earlybird is one of Europe’s most established and active venture capital firms. More information on, LinkedIn and X.

Mérieux Equity Partners (MxEP)

MxEP is an AMF-accredited management company dedicated to equity investments in the Healthcare and Nutrition sectors. MxEP actively supports entrepreneurs and companies with differentiated products and services, giving them privileged access to its sector expertise and international network. MxEP currently manages over € 1.5 billion in assets and co-leads this financing round with its latest Venture Capital fund, OMX Europe Venture Fund, with the co-sponsorship of Korys. For more information, visit

NRW.BANK — The Promotional Bank for North Rhine-Westphalia

NRW.BANK is the promotional bank of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Working in close partnership with its owner, the state of NRW, it provides innovative start-ups with the financial support they need. This is to ensure that no good idea in North Rhine-Westphalia fails for lack of funding. To achieve this goal, NRW.BANK invests up to 15 million euros of equity in start-ups over several financing rounds together with private investors through its NRW.Venture fund. The investment focus is on future-oriented topics such as climate tech or digitalisation of industry, economy and administration. In addition to capital, the bank supports start-ups with its network and expertise.

Old College Capital (OCC)

OCC is the University of Edinburgh’s venture investment fund. OCC manages Edinburgh’s early-stage investment activities and shareholdings; supporting the most exciting ideas and technologies emerging from the University. OCC invests from pre-seed to series A stages, to accelerate the journey of startups and spinouts looking to make a positive impact on people and our planet. OCC is part of Edinburgh Innovations; the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service. For more information, visit

Record changed: 2024-05-03


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