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Dental firm secures cash backing to manufacture decay-detector idea

DENTAL device company Calcivis has raised £1.1 million to help take its technology from a prototype to being ready to manufacture.

The Edinburgh business has received around £300,000 through a Biomedical Catalyst award from the Technology Strategy Board.

On top of that it has secured £800,000 of equity funding from existing backers at Archangel Informal Investment and the Scottish Investment Bank.

Calcivis is developing what it calls the Caries Activity Imaging System which is supposed to help dentists see how active tooth decay is in a patient.

It uses a solution which glows when calcium ions are released from the surface of teeth, which is a sign they are decaying.

That light is then picked up and analysed using a newly developed camera system.

Calcivis is working with Glasgow design agency Wideblue and Midlothian biotechnology firm Ingenza on the technology.

Adam Christie, chief executive, said: "Essentially we have an advanced prototype of the device which is going through clinical evaluation. What we need to do is take that prototype and turn it into a device that is ready for manufacturing. We would like to be in a position to be looking at commercialising the device towards the end of 2015 in Europe."

Mr Christie said that alongside design and manufacturing work the business was entering into clinical studies with three dental centres in Scotland.

Some European clinicians are also involved in testing certain aspects of the device.

Calcivis, which employs four people directly, has a CE Mark in Europe and is planning to go through the regulatory approval process with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consumer protection agency in the United States. The technology used by Calcivis came out of research at the University of Dundee.

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