Toronto startup gets $5M Series A round to nab FDA nod for surgical tissue imaging system

Perimeter's OTIS device--Courtesy of Perimeter

Perimeter Medical Imaging isn't alone in its aspirations to offer surgeons a better tool to visualize surgical tissue perimeters--but it is one of the newer entrants to the race. The startup has raised a $5 million Series A financing that it expects will be sufficient to complete an ongoing clinical trial, as well as to secure regulatory clearance for its first tissue imaging product.

In addition, it's just grabbed a grant for almost $1 million from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

The company's Optical Tissue Imaging System (OTIS) is an intraoperative imaging tool to enable visualization of the entire perimeter of excised tissue during surgery. Perimeter said the platform technology can be used in many different tissue types, but offered breast lumpectomy procedures as an example.

In breast lumpectomies, about one-quarter of patients need a second surgery because some cancer cells were inadvertently left behind the first time around. Perimeter said that OTIS can enable the surgeon to better assess in real time if the surgical margins are accurate--which could result in a more accurate initial procedure and a reduced need for another surgery.

"We have been lucky to engage a strong investor base and this partnership has opened many doors for Perimeter, allowing us to accelerate development and commercialization of this important tissue margin assessment solution," said Perimeter President and CEO Paul Weber in a statement regarding the financing."

Slides comparing OTIS' image with conventional histology imaging--Courtesy of Perimeter

OTIS works by reviewing tissue microstructure during surgery. It uses Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which it said is analogous to ultrasound imaging but that it uses light instead of sound to derive structural information to a depth of 1mm to 2mm. OCT is already used in ophthalmic and vascular imaging products, Perimeter noted.

The Series A round was led by Roadmap Capital with Epic Capital, NorthView Ventures and Pathfinder Asset Management also participating. Perimeter was founded in 2013.

"Roadmap's mandate in its healthcare investments is to invest in proven entrepreneurs who are commercializing innovations that dramatically improve patient care and save time and cost for healthcare providers," noted Roadmap Healthcare Principal Stephen Ireland in a statement.

"Perimeter's OTI technology has the potential to revolutionize tumor removal surgeries by providing surgeons with the ability to accurately assess the tumor surface for residual cancer tissue during the surgical procedure as opposed to having to wait days for pathology results. This is a quantum leap forward over the current standard of care," he added.

- here is the release