Major funding for foetal heart monitor

Nottingham 27 April 2009PUK Ventures, the venture capital business of Partnerships UK, has completed an investment of GBP 750.000 - part of a GBP 1,175 million funding round - in Monica Healthcare Limited. Monica Healthcare was formed following 15 years of expertise at the University of Nottingham's School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Department of Obstetrics. The University of Nottingham spin-out company has developed miniature, wireless technology which can successfully monitor the well-being of a mother and her unborn baby.

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The investors in this round of funding are PUK Ventures (GBP 750K), Catapult Venture Managers (GBP 300K) and The University of Nottingham (GBP 100K) with private investors contributing a further GBP 25K. Proceeds will be used towards expansion of Monica activities in the USA and other international markets.

Christina McComb, Head of PUK Ventures, stated: "PUK Ventures believes that Monica's technology will make a real difference to the quality of care available to expectant mothers and their babies. We are pleased to support the company through the next phase of its international expansion."

The non-invasive wireless technology allows monitoring of the foetus and mother for extended periods of time while allowing the mother to move around as normal. Existing techniques such as ultrasound are not very effective in uninterrupted monitoring over longer periods of time and restrict mothers' movement. The device is CE marked and is available throughout Europe, the Gulf states and Australia through Monica-appointed distributors.

Dr. Bruce Venning, the University of Nottingham appointed director of Monica Healthcare, stated: "Monica has become a perfect example of knowledge transfer, taking a valuable technology from research to the market place, which is destined to become a real benefit to maternity health care."

Jonathan Earl, Investment Director at Catapult Venture Managers, commented: "This funding round takes our cumulative investment in Monica to GBP 1 million. We are delighted both with the progress that the company has made since our original investment 4 years ago and to further support the continued growth."

Paul Harper, Chairman of Monica, stated: "Monica's technology has potential to make a real difference and the support of PUK Ventures and our existing investors is greatly appreciated at this critical juncture which will see expansion into key markets."

Monica Healthcare is developing a series of innovative wearable devices that will use wireless technologies to facilitate globally accessible obstetric services in the home and hospital. Monica Healthcare Ltd. was formed in May 2005. This followed a successful GBP 500K seed fund raising exercise and was the culmination of 15 years of research at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Human Development at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. An additional GBP 1 million second round funding was raised in May 2007 from Catapult, the Lachesis Fund and private investors.


Source: University of Nottingham

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