Hemics receives required CE marking and closes B-round financing to market the HandScan
Eindhoven, the Netherlands, January 9, 2015 – Hemics BV received CE marking required for commercial sales of its medical device the HandScan and closed a new investment round, welcoming new investor DFZ Participaties, a subsidiary of health insurance company De Friesland. Existing investors Thuja Capital, Point One Innovation Fund, and the Brabant Development Agency (BOM) also participated. The investment will enable Hemics to further develop, clinically test and market the HandScan, an optical imaging device to monitor joint inflammation in hands and wrists of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients.
Hemics is the first company in the world to bring to market a non-invasive optical imaging method that assists rheumatologists with objective assessment of inflammation in RA. Based on easy-to-use optical technology the device poses no risk for the patient and the scan only takes 3 minutes. Over the coming months the company will launch the product in selected hospitals in Europe. The first 5 systems will be placed in UMC Utrecht and four non-academic hospitals in the same region in the Netherlands through an LSH Impulse grant.
Dr. Michiel van Beek, co-founder and VP Technology of Hemics: “This is a major milestone for both our company and for RA care, enabling wider use of the HandScan in rheumatology practices. The HandScan visualizes joint inflammation objectively with light, which we believe over time will become the preferred monitoring option for patients, rheumatologists and payers.”
Dr. Petra van den Elsen, co-founder and CEO of Hemics comments: “We are very pleased to complete this financing round with the continuing strong support of our existing investors complemented with a new investor with excellent know-how of the healthcare insurance space. This makes us even more confident in our belief that our technology can make a difference in rheumatology. We are eager to begin our commercial launch in Europe.”
Ben Dijk, Investment Director at DFZ Participaties: “We are excited to be part of this venture. We found in Hemics a unique product and a first class management. We expect that Hemics’ technology will allow for more frequent monitoring, in the long run reducing joint damage, functional loss and discomfort for RA patients, at lower total health care cost.” Ben Dijk will join the Board of Directors of Hemics.
Dr. Harrold van Barlingen, Chairman of the Board of Hemics and Managing Partner at Thuja Capital: “We are very pleased that we accomplished this financing round, strengthening the investor base of the company with an investor with extensive knowledge of the health care and reimbursement market, at this crucial time of market introduction.”
About Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - RA is a chronic inflammatory disease, affecting between 0.5% and 1% of the population worldwide. RA is a progressive disease with currently no cure, making the disease a chronic condition. RA is associated with regular flare ups and if left untreated these will cause irreversible joint damage and ultimately severe joint deformation and loss of function. The treatment of RA is staged. Initially the patient receives classical disease modifying anti-inflammatory drugs. If this treatment becomes ineffective, different and more advanced drugs (e.g. biologics, such as anti-TNF antibodies) are employed. Treatment is guided by monitoring of disease activity, and if done adequately, irreversible joint damage can be prevented and discomfort due to the disease and drug side effects can be limited. As such monitoring of disease activity helps to reduce the overall treatment costs which is important given the chronic nature of RA.
About Hemics - Hemics B.V. is a medical device company active in the field of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Hemics’ ambition is to improve the quality of life of patients with RA by creating imaging devices that support the rheumatologist in monitoring and treatment of this disease. Hemics’ systems are based on patented optical inflammation detection technology, a non-invasive, fast and operator independent method that supports rheumatologists in objective assessment of inflammatory status, a key parameter in the treatment of patients with RA. Hemics is a Dutch company that was founded as a spin-off of Royal Philips where the inflammation detection technology was invented. For more information, please visit www.hemics.com.
About DFZ Participaties - DFZ Participaties invests in early stage high potential Dutch companies providing solutions in the field of healthcare. DFZ Participaties is a 100% subsidiary of health insurance company De Friesland. The investment focus is on medical devices and healthcare services which are beneficial for the insured base of De Friesland. For more information please visit www.dfzparticipaties.nl.
About Thuja Capital - Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund B.V. (TCHF) is a venture capital fund structured to invest in early-stage life sciences companies, with a focus on therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices. TCHF, managed by Thuja Capital Management B.V. (Thuja Capital), has a long-standing and successful track record in life sciences investments. Thuja Capital actively supports and helps portfolio companies to strengthen and grow their business. Apart from managing TCHF, Thuja Capital is also the exclusive manager of the Thuja Capital Healthcare Seed Fund, and of TCHF II. For more information please visit www.thujacapital.com.
About Brabant Development Agency (BOM) - The Brabant Development Agency (BOM) endeavors to promote an innovative and resilient economy in the Dutch province of Brabant, giving the region a lasting competitive edge in a rapidly globalizing world. This aspiration entails achieving a place among the top European regions in terms of knowledge and innovation. The emphasis in this policy is focused on the top economic clusters, crossovers between these clusters, and linking these clusters to social issues. BOM encourages companies, local and national authorities, and knowledge institutes to realize the economic ambitions nurtured by the province of Brabant. The starting point in this is to provide smart solutions to social problems. BOM’s core tasks involve forging alliances between companies and institutions, attracting foreign companies, investing risk capital in both innovative startups and growing companies, and developing business sites. For more information please visit www.bom.nl.
About Point-One Innovation Fund - Point-One Innovation Fund is a Dutch early-stage investment fund that has invested in 9 start-up companies in the field of nano-technology and embedded systems, including semi-conductors, embedded software, mechatronics and photonics.
Petra van den Elsen, MD, PhD, MBA, CEO
T: +31 (0)40 30 20 019
DFZ Participaties B.V.
T: +31 (0)6 10 44 0862
Thuja Capital Management B.V.
Harrold van Barlingen, PhD
T: +31 (0)30 253 9898
Point-One Innovation Fund
Theo Claasen, PhD
T: +31 (0)6 53 129488
Brabant Development Agency (BOM)
Karin Steffens, PhD
T: + 31 (0)88 831 12 04