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ARM Innovation Hub
25 September, 2019 - 13:56 By Tony Quested

Jobs axed as administrator seeks buyer for stricken Sphere Medical

KPMG Steve Absolom

Most of the 45 staff at stricken Cambridge biotech company Sphere Medical Ltd have been made redundant by administrator KPMG which is seeking a buyer for the business and its assets.

The company crashed after running out of cash runway and  Steve Absolom and Will Wright from KPMG’s Restructuring practice have been tasked with salvaging as much as possible from the wreckage.

The pre-revenue MedTech business has been trading since 2003 and has operations in Cambridge and St. Asaph, North Wales.

The business sought to create biosensor technology to improve outcomes for critically ill patients while addressing challenges in traditional Arterial Blood Gas Testing techniques such as infection risk and blood loss.

It’s innovative diagnostic product Proxima, which enabled near-continuous blood gas monitoring (as opposed to infrequent diagnostics) through a patient-connected, automated machine, was in the final phase of testing ahead of seeking FDA and CE approvals. 

KPMG says the biosensor technology could be used in other medical applications (eg. dialysis and smart ventilation) and also be applied in industries which require fluid monitoring – for example in the Food and Drink sector, especially brewing/distilling, AgriTech or environmental monitoring, especially water quality.

Following the appointment of the joint administrators, the majority of the 45-strong workforce of scientists, engineers and technicians were made redundant. Several members of staff have been retained to assist the joint administrators whilst buyers are sought for the business and assets.

Joint administrator Steve Absolom said: “Sphere Medical has developed an innovative biosensor technology but unfortunately, has run out of the funding required to enable the technology to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals for it to be commercially developed. 

“An opportunity now exists for a new investor or partner to come forward and harness the potential of Proxima as we put the technology and associated assets up for sale. 

“However, we understand this is an extremely disappointing outcome for the dedicated employees of the business. Our focus over the coming days will be to liaise with those employees who have been made redundant, ensuring they are provided with any support and information they need.”

• Parties interested in buying the technology and associated assets are invited to email Nicola.Kennedy2 [at] kpmg.co.uk

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