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Smith & Nephew invests in new tech that can ‘see’ through skin

Hopes to use tech for detecting skin cancer and help with wound care

Pharmaceutical research and developmentSmith & Nephew is investing over £1m that it hopes can help the development of new technology with the ability to see through human skin and detect skin cancer as well as help heal dermatological wounds.

The deal sees Smith & Nephew (S&N), a medical technology giant based in the UK, investing £1.25m into Michelson Diagnostics, a small Kent-based business which uses laser beams to produce high resolution images of cells beneath the surface of the skin.

S&N aims to leverage Michelson's already marketed technology, the Vivosight OTC system, which can see through skin and detect basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a form of skin cancer that is far less deadly than melanoma, but that can cause severe scarring from surgery if left undetected. 

This removes the need for a biopsy - something that can lead to complications such as infection, making diagnosis with the Vivosight system potentially safer for the patient. 

Smith & Nephew's interest in Michelson is centred on the potential of using OCT to assess the severity of burns, an application which could bolster the company's growing wound care offering.

The company is best known for its joint replacement business, but it has recently become more focussed on diversifying into other areas of medical technology, such as high-tech dressings for serious wounds.

As part of the deal Andrew Boyes, SVP of strategic initiatives at Smith & Nephew, will join the company's board. Here he will help the two firms collaborate on exploring new indications for Vivosight, such as the investigation of burn depth assessment.

Boyes said: “At Smith & Nephew we are keen to identify and develop innovative products which have the potential to significantly advance the way in which patients are diagnosed and treated. VivoSight fits that bill and we are very optimistic for its clinical and commercial prospects.”

Article by
Ben Adams

20th February 2015

From: Research

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