MEIF - Proof of Concept

£1.3m investment for biomedical firm with new way to fit artificial limbs

A Midlands biomedical start-up responsible for developing technology that helps the fitting of artificial limbs and prostheses has closed a £1.3million funding round led by Mercia Fund Managers.

Adapttech has secured £250,000 from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, £500,000 from Mercia’s EIS funds, with the remainder from the Portugese venture capitalist Hovione Capital and private investors.

The company has recently moved its headquarters from Portugal to the Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) in Birmingham and will use the funds to help finalise clinical trials and commercialise the product.

Adapttech was founded in 2015 by biomedical engineers Frederico Carpinteiro and Mario Espinoza. Its INSIGHT™ tool offers a faster and easier way to fit lower-limb prostheses and monitor patients’ rehabilitation.

INSIGHT™ consists of a scanner which creates a 3D model of the prosthesis socket, a wearable device which fits between the residual limb and the prosthesis and gathers data to pinpoint problem areas where the socket may need adjusting; and an app, through which healthcare professionals can access the results.

It has received positive feedback from trials in Portugal and according to one medic, could lead to ‘the greatest evolution of the last 30 years in prosthetics fitting.’ A new clinical trial will start soon at the West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre in Birmingham with the NHS, OPCare and Birmingham Healthcare Partners.

There are around 6.5 million amputees in Europe and North America and the number is growing rapidly due to ageing populations and the incidence of diseases such as diabetes.

Frederico Carpinteiro, President of Adapttech, said: “This funding round will allow us to finish all the certification processes and start selling in Europe. The input from investors, their network and know-how will also help us achieve our milestones faster.”

Peter Dines, Chief Operating Officer at Mercia, said: “Fitting a prosthesis takes a lot of time because technicians rely on the patient reporting discomfort and a trial and error methodology. Adapttech’s smart solution provides objective data to speed up the process and create a comfortable prosthesis as soon as possible. The funds will allow the company to finalise clinical studies, build a sales and marketing team to commercialise the product in Europe with a view to entering the US market in the near future.”

Grant Peggie, Director, Venture Solution at the British Business Bank added: “Adapttech’s relocation to Birmingham is a huge vote of confidence for Midlands medtech sector innovation. The firm has significant growth potential and we are pleased that the Midlands Engine Investment Fund is providing valuable finance that will support the development of Adapttech’s technology.”

Pat Hanlon, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Board Director for Access to Finance, said: “Investing in Adapttech will help to ensure that this company continues to develop technologies that have a direct and positive impact on people’s lives. Relocating to the research facility at the Institute of Translational Medicine – which has also been supported by GBSLEP – allows Adapttech to take advantage of the world-class facilities, infrastructure and talent pool available within Greater Birmingham. Funding an ambitious start-up like Adapttech will help this business to realise its full potential, and enable us to support the region’s growing life sciences sector.’’

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.