Medtech start-up Axis Spine Technologies (AST) has raised £2.2 million in a funding round led by ACF Investors, with follow-on investment from Mercia’s EIS funds.

Mercia was the first investor when AST was founded by Jon Acros in 2017. This is the first investment from ACF Investors’ new Delta Fund, a fast-track investment fund designed for high-potential UK businesses that have been backed by a syndicate of angel investors with deep sector knowledge.

The angel syndicate is led by Simon Cartmell, who has more than 40 years’ pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech experience. He has expertise in orthopaedic technologies and joins the AST board. He was previously chief executive of Apatech, an orthobiologics company specialising in bone grafting and spine repair, which was acquired by Baxter Healthcare in 2010. He has also held non-executive directorships with several other companies in related fields. 

AST is developing the next generation of anterior spinal implant technology, which provides surgeons with increased correction and alignment options. Its modular devices are inserted with less force than conventional implants to reduce the risks of structural damage which can lead to a complication known as subsidence. 

AST said its first implant system has attracted commercial interest in pre-release activities and several US spine surgeons are ready to start using the device. The funding will be used to support the launch of the new device in the US, and also to progress developments of oblique, lateral cage implants, as well as a new access system.

Arcos, AST’s chief executive, said: “In 2021 we will take a big step forward in our mission to help surgeons improve the spinal care they provide to their patients. Our products will enable them to achieve superior correction and to maintain this correction more reliably than with the devices available today. Simon Cartmell’s addition to the board means we can draw on his experience and deep sector knowledge to help take Axis to the next level. We are very pleased to be the first investment from ACF Investors’ Delta Fund and to have the continued support of Mercia and our independent angel investors as we demonstrate the benefits of modular implants and expand the Axis product range.”

Tim Mills, managing partner at ACF Investors, added: “We believe that the active involvement of stand-out angel investors is one of the largest contributing factors to the success of an early-stage company. Having Simon on board and a proposition as strong as Axis Spine’s technology makes this investment the perfect fit for The Delta Fund. We are excited to see where the team takes the company by opening up new markets and expanding their product suite, which will help improve outcomes for surgeons and patients alike.”

Date published: February 24, 2021

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