Par Equity Exits tissue diagnostics firm PathXL


Par Equity

13 July 2016

Since its initial investment in PathXL in 2012, Edinburgh-based venture capital firm Par Equity has generated a 270% tax-free return for investors from the sale of the tissue diagnostics medical technology firm to Philips for an undisclosed sum.

Queens University Belfast spin-out PathXL has developed digital pathology systems that detect, analyse, segment and catalogue tumours faster and more accurately than current methods, which mainly rely on human analysis of pathology slides.

Digitisation of pathology results and records has been shown to improve efficiency and reduce costs within medical and research institutions and organisations. It allows pathology information to be more easily stored, distributed and used, whether in a research,
educational or clinical setting.

Using a patent-pending algorithm and other proprietary technology, PathXL’s hardware and software can ultimately help improve cancer diagnosis rates through faster and more accurate detection and analysis.

Paul Munn, Par Equity Partner and Portfolio Manager, said: “There is a global shortage of pathologists and that is hindering the speed at which cancer diagnosis and research can be undertaken. PathXL’s technology, which is able digitise, analyse and produce accurate diagnoses from pathology slides, is therefore extremely important and has the potential to revolutionise this area of cancer research and treatment.

“Par Equity’s investment, which was initially undertaken in 2012, as well as our hands-on involvement through representation on PathXL’s board, has enabled the company to invest in research and development, commercialise its technology and generate its first sales. The
goal was always to find a buyer from the pharmaceutical or medical manufacturing sector, within three to four years of investing, which is something we’ve been able to achieve through Philips now acquiring the business.”

Des Speed, of PathXL, said: “Par Equity’s investment, management expertise and advice have been invaluable to us as we have developed our technology and grown as a business over the past four years. We are extremely grateful to them for their involvement.

“Being acquired by Philips provides our technology with a platform and to be developed further as part of a powerful and globally-recognised brand name.”

PathXL was a portfolio holding in two Par Equity funds, Par Innovation Fund I LP and Par Syndicate EIS Fund. Based in Edinburgh, Par Equity is Scotland’s leading Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) manager, with approaching £20 million of EIS investments made to date. It is an ownermanaged venture capital firm that was formed in 2008 to address the challenges of investment in small, high growth potential companies. It is run by four partners; Paul Atkinson, Robert Higginson, Andrew Castell and Paul Munn.

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