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IQ Endoscopes secures £5.2m investment from BGF and the Development Bank Wales

L-R: Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Andrew Miller, Chief Executive Matt Ginn, Chief Operating Officer Felicity Sartain and Strategic Marketing Director Chris Hobbs

Medical device business IQ Endoscopes has secured a £5.2 million investment in a round led by BGF – one of the largest and most experienced investors in the UK and Ireland – alongside existing investor the Development Bank of Wales and a consortium of investors.

The funding will help to support the development and roll-out of IQ Endoscope’s ground-breaking medical device which has the potential to revolutionise the early diagnosis of a range of cancers and other gastro-intestinal conditions.

Based in Chepstow, South Wales, IQ Endoscopes has created a single-use endoscopy device which is not only cost effective and scalable but also sustainable.

The company was recently supported with grant from Cardiff and Vale Health Board, and received backing from the Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund to create a new recycling strategy for the product

IQ Endoscopes’ technology leverages the complementary experience of its founders; Dr Patrick Ward-Booth brings over 40 years of clinical experience in the endoscopy field, while CTO Andrew Miller has a background in automotive engineering that has been applied to the design and manufacturing of the company’s products.

The business, which was launched in 2017 has raised £5.9 million to date, with seed funding and subsequent investment raised from investors including the Development Bank of Wales. IQ Endoscopes has undergone rapid acceleration over the last five years and funds from this latest round will be focused on market access strategy ahead of product launch.

Global volumes of endoscopy procedures are forecast to grow to 130 million by 2026, driven by factors such as an ageing population combined with a growing number of surgical techniques that can now be performed via endoscopy. New guidance recommending increased early screening for diseases such as colorectal cancer (to begin at age 45 rather than age 50) has also come at a time when the effects of the pandemic are still being felt in the form of a significant backlog of patients waiting for endoscopy care.

Of the 70 million endoscopy procedures currently completed each year, 98% are performed with reusable devices which require decontamination and reprocessing after each use, which is both costly and reduces patient capacity, as well as posing the risk of cross contamination. IQ Endoscopes aims to add much needed capacity and flexibility to help the healthcare system meet patient demand.

Matt Ginn, CEO at IQ Endoscopes, commented: “Regulatory bodies such as the FDA are increasingly encouraging single use endoscopes as a means of improving patient safety and ensuring the early detection of GI diseases. Single use endoscopes not only eliminate all threat of cross contamination between procedures, but also increase throughput of patients and allow greater access to treatment on a global scale.”

“This latest financial backing will allow us to bring our disruptive technology to market, making it available to patients undergoing vital treatments and procedures as soon as possible. Furthermore, we can continue our organisational expansion in South Wales and ensure we scale the organisation in line with commercialisation plans”

Tim Rea, investor at BGF, said: “This was an exciting opportunity to back an early-stage medical device business with a truly innovative technology that has the potential to make a significant positive impact on a strained area of the healthcare system.

“The team at IQ Endoscopes are extremely committed to improving outcomes for patients and healthcare providers the world over. This investment will enable IQ Endoscopes to complete its remaining developmental milestones against a clear roadmap towards its next stage of growth.”

Dr Richard Thompson, Senior Investment Executive at the Development Bank of Wales, said: “Matt Ginn and the team at IQ Endoscopes have made impressive progress. As a PhD materials scientist, I’ve been particularly impressed at the quality of the products the team has developed.

“As an initial investor into IQ Endoscopes, we’re delighted to see the progress they’ve made, and to have made a second med-tech equity co-investment with the ventures team at BGF, increasing our stake in this exciting company.”