OrganOx, which was spun out in 2008, secured the equity investment during a recent over-subscribed Series B fundraising round. University of Oxford subsidiary Isis Innovation and existing shareholder, Technikos, also backed the business in the round.
Dr Les Russell, chief executive of OrganOx, says the funding will enable clinical studies for its liver transport product ahead of a planned market launch next year. The business will also look at developing products to help increase the quality and viability of other human organs for transplant, she adds.
OrganOx’s device is intended to increase the number of liver transplants carried out by keeping the organ in a better environment before transplant. It does this by maintaining the liver in a fully functioning state during transport and storage by providing the correct blood flow, oxygen, nutrients and temperature.
In addition, the device can enable the liver to be stored safely for a longer period of up to 24 hours, and provides the surgeon with real-time and cumulative data about the organ, which can help in assessing viability for a transplant.
At present, there are 30,000 patients on liver transplant waiting lists in Europe and the US, but only 12,000 liver transplants are carried out each year.
Sir Peter Williams, treasurer of the Royal Society, comments, ‘With almost 2,000 livers being retrieved and then discarded each year and long waiting lists, there’s an obvious need for the technology that OrganOx is working on.’