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16 November 2011

North West Fund for Biomedical invests in world first for urology products

Press Release 16th November 2011


The £25m North West Fund for Biomedical has made an investment in the world's first intelligent leg bag with an electrical pump from Albert Medical Devices.


Albert Medical Devices, based in Liverpool Science Park, has secured a £50K Pathfinder Investment from the Fund, part of a £210K investment round, run by early-stage venture capital firm SPARK Impact.


The North West Fund for Biomedical is a sub-fund of the £185m evergreen North West Fund that is jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).


The concept of an intelligent leg bag was developed by Albert Medical Devices' founder Trevor Wills, an inventor and electronic manufacturing specialist, in the quest to improve his father's quality of life following a severe stroke.


Existing leg bag products have remained unchanged for more than 70 years, with patients having to lean down to where the bag is strapped to empty, something not always possible for them to do themselves. Wearers of traditional bags also have no way of knowing when the bag is full, overly full bags can cause reflux and increase in infections.


The Melio system overcomes these disadvantages by replacing the tap with a tiny pump and employing a simple computerized level detector. A miniature computer controller clips onto the waist belt and puts the wearer in charge.


The Investment from The North West Fund for Biomedical will be used to grow the current team, complete CE Marking and trialing of the device, as well as manufacturing additional units for trialing with clients and customers.


Trevor Wills, CTO and Chairman of Albert Medical Devices said: "I would like to thank SPARK Impact for their support and believing in this product. We have been trying for a number of months to raise finance for this opportunity and the Biomedical fund have been a great help in not only filling this round but in helping us close this investment."


Dr Penny Attridge, Senior Investment Director at SPARK Impact and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: "The investment into Albert Medical Devices is an exciting opportunity for the fund. AMD has some very specific targets and milestones to meet over the next 3-6 months which we are convinced there is now a team to deliver, we are looking forward to seeing just how successful they can become.


"From the interest and excitement Melio has received we are hoping the company will grow rapidly, achieve significant sales in a short period of time and be a great addition to the medical device community, while supplying a great return for its shareholders."


The fund for Biomedical has completed nine investments in a range of companies from therapeutics and drug developments to medical devices and Telemedicine.



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