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11 June, 2014 - 07:28 By Tony Quested

Oval seeks £1.5m for new generation self-injectors


Oval Medical Technologies in Cambridge is bidding to raise £1.5 million through the UK city’s crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom to underpin a new range of self-injectors for several conditions.

The medical technology innovator has already been guaranteed £375k of the target from serial entrepreneurs including Jonathan Milner (CEO of Abcam) and CSR co-founder Phil O’Donovan.

Oval injectors have been devised for patients who want to self-medicate but are frightened of needles.

One exciting development in the new range of devices Oval wants to roll out is a self-injector for people with allergies that cause potentially fatal anaphylaxis – perhaps through food, bee stings or other triggers.

Oval says that more than 20 per cent of people are thought to suffer from Trypanophobia, a fear of needles and injections. Oval’s self-injector is small and said to be easy to use, especially by patients who are frightened of needles or those with limited dexterity.

A revolutionary needle lock-out system ensures the needle is always hidden and eliminates the threat of needle stick injury. The design of the devices also allows for the delivery of high viscosity drugs that Oval claims no other self-injecting device can currently deliver.

In the last four years Oval has generated revenues of around £3.4 million through the development and sale of innovative devices to large pharmaceutical companies. Now it wants fresh funds to help commercialise a range of patented devices that it believes will revolutionise the self-injected medications market.

The business is initially expecting to enter the $1.3 billion market for Sumatriptan – a migrane treatment drug – before moving into multiple established drug markets shortly after; including the provision of EpiPens for those who are allergic to nuts, bee stings or have other allergies that cause anaphylaxis.

A US study (‘Fatalities due to anaphylactic reactions to foods,’ S. Allan Bock, et al) of 30 fatalities caused by anaphylactic shock revealed that the victims were mainly young adults or adolescents who were aware of their condition but were not carrying their epinephrine pen. The study found that a smaller, more modern looking and less conspicuous device is more likely to be carried than a large bulky device similar to those currently available.

Oval is looking to raise up to £1.5 million in total with the help of SyndicateRoom, and has already secured £375K from seasoned lead investors, who have a wealth of experience in making these types of investment, including Jonathan Milner, Phil O'Donovan and Michael Dey, managing director of Claidmhor Pharma and former VP of Endocrinology Portfolio Management at IPSEN.

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, founder and CEO, SyndicateRoom, said: “We are extremely excited to be able to offer online investors the chance to invest alongside  such seasoned industry professionals.

“Through their groundbreaking technology, Oval has the real potential to have a tangible, positive effect on the lives of people who have to self-administer medication on a regular basis, and we are proud to support them on their funding journey.”

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