7.2.2022 | Finnish Venture Capital Association

Smart tissue monitor developing Marginum Ltd raises first venture capital funding from Nostetta Ventures

Marginum’s technology increases the efficiency of cancer surgery with fluorescence-based monitoring techniques. Nostetta Ventures has made an initial investment in the company from the North Savo Start-up Fund, which it manages. 
 
The research-based invention emerged from the need to develop more effective tissue recognition techniques for the surgical treatment of tumours. As the population continues to age, there will be a growing need for tumour surgery and accurate tissue identification is one of its biggest challenges.
 
Contemporary surgical tissue recognition techniques are limited by complexity, inaccuracy and subjectivity. Despite adjuvant therapies, many tumours recur, leading to riskier reoperation procedures, deteriorating quality of life and increased health care costs. Marginum’s technology utilises tissues’ emitting glow, i.e. fluorescence to locate cancer. A smart tissue monitor, detecting cancer cells from tissue waste, is an unprecedently accurate and versatile method for cancer surgery. The patent-pending technology is expected to make a significant contribution to the detection of cancer cells — with the aim of efficient and safe total tumour removal during the first operation.
 
Company’s primary product targets brain cancers such as the cancer of the brain’s glial cells, i.e. glioma. Globally, approximately 160,000 glioma cases occur each year, and tumours’ incomplete surgical removal results in up to 70,000 reoperations per year. By 2030, glioma cases are expected to increase by 40 % and other cancers, such as ovarian, liver and colon cancers, to which the company’s technology can be applied, will similarly increase.

“Use of fluorescent labels in medicine is increasing rapidly. Our optical solution supports surgical performance — providing the surgeon with more information for surgical decision-making. Best possible surgical outcome leads to successful disease management and more favourable results for the patient,” comments Samu Lehtonen, the company’s CEO.

                                                                                                                                  The deep technology of the company’s product is rooted in interdisciplinary cutting-edge research of the University of Eastern Finland, the Department of Neurosurgery of Kuopio University Hospital and the Eastern Finland Microsurgery Center.
 
“We work with industry-leading academic and clinical experts to ensure the safety, efficiency and clinical applicability of our technological solutions. Our products must be able to be seamlessly integrated to the surgical workflow and offer performance that is more cost-effective than current solutions”, emphasises Lehtonen. 

Marginum - Team of surgeons background

Typically, fluorescence-guided surgery has focused on developed countries. The company’s goal is to offer a solution suitable for developed and developing markets. Nostetta Ventures subscribed for the majority of the investment round in Marginum’s directed issuance of shares. Constaco Oy, investment company of the Pylkkänen family, which acts as an influencer in the health sector, also took part in the financing round. The received funding will enable the further development of the smart tissue sensor for international markets.

“There is a big gap between academic inventions and practical applications, especially in the field of medicine. Such innovations require a long background in research as well as extensive interdisciplinary expertise. Marginum’s diverse team and technology convinced us that the company offers a concrete and viable solution to a demonstrated problem. As an investor, we want to accelerate the introduction of the innovation to the market by offering not only capital but also our network and expertise to the company”, says Heidi Ahonen, CEO of Nostetta Ventures.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Samu Lehtonen
CEO, Marginum Ltd
samu.lehtonen@marginum.com
+358 40 579 7890
 
Heidi Ahonen
CEO, Nostetta Ventures
heidi.ahonen@nostettaventures.com
+358 40 060 6122
 
Marginum Ltd is a university-based medical technology startup developing fluorescence-based tissue detection systems. Company’s data-driven solutions enable safe and efficient monitoring of tumour tissues during cancer surgery without compromising pre-existent surgical workflows. The products are derived from state-of-the-art research to improve surgical performance and cost-effectiveness. Marginum’s multidisciplinary team works in close cooperation with academic, clinical and industrial experts to ensure its technological solutions’ seamless clinical compatibility. www.marginum.com
 
Nostetta Ventures manages the North Savo Start-up Fund in Kuopio, which makes capital capital investments in early-stage startups, mainly in Northern Savonia region. Company’s goal is to enable and accelerate the emergence of international startups and create a positive jolt for the business community in the entire region. www.nostettaventures.com
 
Original full article in Finnish can be read at the website of the Finnish Venture Capital Association.

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