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Frontwave Imaging provides supercomputing capabilities and advanced algorithms to physicians and radiologists, enhancing cancer diagnosis. Its inaugural product, UBIware, aims to enhance early breast cancer detection through cloud supercomputing and the utilization of advanced algorithms to process tomographic ultrasound data. The improvements in image resolution and the analysis of a wider range of parameters offer the essential elements for a more accurate and efficient diagnosis compared to current methods. This is especially true for cases involving dense breasts.

Completed 12 one day ago
215 investors
Investment achieved
626.130€
Target
600.000€
Invested
104.4%
104.4% INVESTED
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This campaign was live:
From: 13 September 2023
Until: 13 December 2023
Maturity

Prototype/preclinical

Premoney valuation

6.000.000

Estimated exit

2027

Sector

Medical devices

Equity offered

10%

Minimum investment

1.000

Equity L
Tax deduction
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Overview: Frontwave Imaging (2023)

Valuation 6.000.000
Estimated return x17
% Offered 10%
Estimated exit 2027
The company

FrontWave Imaging, SL is a spin-off of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and Imperial College London (ICL). Our focus is on early breast cancer diagnosis using supercomputing-based medical software, UBIware, which utilizes data obtained through ultrasound tomography (USCT). BIware, our software, operates as a SaaS (Software as a Service)

Our technology enables the capture of high-precision 2D/3D images of breast tissue, achieving high resolution. It is particularly effective in high-density breast tissues where conventional mammography may fall short due to similarities in tissue density between healthy and tumor tissues. Our data acquisition technology is non-invasive, non-ionizing, and cost-effective. Furthermore, it is painless and suitable for patients of all ages and risk levels, making it usable as frequently as needed for enhanced disease detection and monitoring.

The Frontwave Imaging team, led by CEO and co-founder Susana Castel, brings together extensive experience in launching and managing startups within the biotechnology and medical software sectors. It includes three scientific co-founders: Josep de La Puente (CTO), Lluis Guasch (CSO), and Óscar Calderón (CDO). Frontwave Imaging also benefits from the expertise of Rafael García Escarré, our Senior Business Advisor, who has been a part of the management team since the company’s inception. In its initial years, the company successfully assembled a core team of 8 full-time employees and enlisted the expertise of advisors and essential suppliers for product and business development, including roles such as CFO, regulatory experts, cybersecurity specialists, legal counsel, and HR personnel.

The development of our first product, UBIWare, has been strategically planned in phases. The initial version will undergo validation as a breast image reconstruction tool, paving the way for subsequent regulatory clinical validation as a breast cancer diagnosis method. Additional features will be incorporated to enhance disease detection and monitoring, including multiparameter reconstruction and uncertainty quantification.

 

Regarding the regulatory strategy, as our product is classified as a Medical Software Device, it’s imperative to obtain product certifications before market entry.

Certification requirements differ by market, with CE Marking required in Europe, FDA approval in the US, and CFDA certification in China. These requirements are contingent on the product’s safety classification.

In Europe, UBIware is classified as a Medical Device Software (MDS) class I for the reconstruction tool and class IIb for the diagnostic tool. Certification requirements vary depending on the product’s risk classification. Class I products may undergo self-certification, while the rest require the involvement of a notified body.

In the United States, UBIware falls under the classification of ‘Medical Device Class II’ as per regulation 21CFR 892.270. To obtain marketing authorization, we will submit the 510(k) notification requirement to the FDA.

Our regulatory strategy aligns with our market approach and expansion plans, focusing on key markets with substantial growth potential. We have enlisted the expertise of regulatory consultants who specialize in both European and FDA regulations.

To support our regulatory efforts, Frontwave Imaging is initiating an investment bridge round of €600,000. This round will be followed by a larger round in 2024, totalling €2 million, aimed at completing the development and validation of UBIWARE 2D as a reconstruction tool, along with achieving self-certification as a Class I Medical Device Software (MDS).

Subsequent investment rounds are planned for 2026, coinciding with our company’s more advanced stage of product commercialization and expansion. Frontwave envisions a potential exit scenario for investors around 2027-28, with a valuation potential of up to €120 million, offering a remarkable return on investment estimated at x17 for investors participating in this round.

Why is Capital Cell investing in this company?

Frontwave Imaging is a project that can significantly enhance one of the world's most common and valuable diagnostic practices: early breast cancer detection.

Frontwave Imaging's UBIware technology (SaaS) replicates X-ray radiography with a system of ultrasound combined with supercomputing-based artificial intelligence algorithms. This technique is entirely harmless, cost-effective, and offers superior resolution for the precise diagnosis of tumors, even in dense breasts (affecting 50% of women).

High-precision ultrasound diagnosis is generally recognized as the new paradigm in early breast cancer detection worldwide, with Frontwave Imaging aiming to become the leading European company in high-precision ultrasound diagnostics by 2027.

The project stems from a collaboration among some of the world's most prestigious research institutions, including Imperial College London, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and the Vall d'Hebron Hospital.

Frontwave Imaging presents a compelling investment opportunity, with a pre-money valuation of 6 million euros and a seed round of 600,000 EUR, expandable to 1,000,000 EUR for clinical validation at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona and the initiation of CE and FDA regulatory activities.

The valuation is very reasonable and offers an estimated return of X17 for investors.

Minimum investment: 1.000
Type of exit expected: B series / M&A
Drag-along rights
Tag-along rights
Tax deductions
Main risks

The main risks for Frontwave Imaging are of a commercial and competitive nature, with distribution and partnership agreements being crucial with various stakeholders and distributors to ensure market access (hospitals, clinics, medical centers) for the company.

Clinical validation and regulatory strategy, both for the European Union and the United States, are crucial for the success of Frontwave Imaging in implementing the proposed paradigm shift in the diagnosis of potential breast tumors.

The current round and the next one should be sufficient for Frontwave Imaging to achieve its ambitious objectives.

Our supercomputing services are at the disposal of oncologists and radiologists

Our ultrasound-based imaging technology offers resolution comparable to MRI

UBIware, our technology, is safe, accessible, and capable of providing high-resolution images, even for dense breast tissue.

Enhancing the diagnosis of breast cancer by employing multiparameter reconstruction and uncertainty quantification

Our technology has the potential to revolutionize various imaging markets

Our experts say

There is definitely a need in the market for a faster and more cost-effective solution for breast cancer testing.

Nanci Dexter

Founder of Compliance Systems +

The team are world leaders in the sector and have clearly leveraged their scientific expertise with experts on the commercial side, covering all bases.

Dr. Peter Huthwaite

Reader in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London

I know of no solution that is better. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may offer slightly better sensitivity, but it is much more expensive and slower. Front Wave's non-invasive, painless and fast solution is a long-standing medical necessity.

Oriol Bes

Innovation Partner at transForma Partnering

The final rating

APPROVED: This company has successfully passed a rigorous legal and financial analysis.

Approved by
The BioExpert Network is an independent and exclusive network of experts in the life science industry and investment. Only proposals that receive positive evaluations in innovation, science, finance... make it successfully through to the funding campaign stage of Capital Cell.
Team
81%
Science
80%
Innovation
78%
Business
74%
Approved by
Alira Health is an international consultancy that provides a suite of integrated services designed to help companies in the healthcare and life sciences sectors.
Market access
75%
Regulatory
90%
Approved by
Elion is an intellectual property (IP) agency, which helps biotech and medtech start-ups with their protection strategies, patent drafting and prosecution, as well as freedom-to-operate studies.
Intellectual Property
83%

The project

Supercomputing and Ultrasound for Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Frontwave Imaging, SL is a pioneering business project that hinges its value proposition on the application of deep tech and transformative technologies, proven successful in other industries, to the realm of medical diagnosis. Our mission? To democratize the use of cloud supercomputing technology for breast cancer detection.

FrontWave Imaging introduces a revolutionary approach to breast cancer diagnosis through a Software as a Service (SaaS) suite. This innovative product is the result of collaboration among distinguished scientists, seasoned software engineers, specialized radiologists, and seasoned business leaders.

The introduction of an entirely new imaging modality, powered by the UBIware supercomputing software, represents a proposal with immense potential impact, not only in technology and medicine but also in terms of certifications

Our team

The company's history traces back to the vision of its three entrepreneurs, Josep de la Puente, Lluis Guasch, and Oscar Calderón. They harnessed their expertise in geophysics and supercomputing, initially applied for detecting oil and gas pockets in seabeds, to pioneer early breast cancer detection. To bring this vision to life, the entrepreneurs assembled a team of experts in business development, software engineering, and medical image diagnostics, leading to the establishment of FrontWave Imaging

Management team

Susana Castel , CEO
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She holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Barcelona (UB) with a specialization in drug development against melanoma, in collaboration with Merck KGaA. She also earned a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from UB and completed a postgraduate program in Project Management at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).

Throughout her career, she co-founded and served on the Board of Directors of Applicacell Biotech, SL, and Advancell S.A., where she held the position of Commercial and Marketing Director. She has also provided advisory and board member services to Health Engineering, SL.

Over the past eight years, she has worked as an independent consultant, focusing on management, business development, and investments in the Biotech and MedTech sectors. Her expertise lies in bridging the gap between research and development in biotechnology and medical technology, as well as in the commercialization of technological products. She serves as an Innovation Advisor, Business Coach, and evaluator for SMEs through the EIC Accelerator, as well as in R+D projects for the FET-OPEN, MSCA, and FET ILP programs of the European Commission.

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Josep de la Puente , CTO
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He holds a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the University of Barcelona (UB). With a strong background in the simulation and inversion of waves for geophysical applications using supercomputers, he has authored over thirty articles and delivered more than a hundred presentations at international congresses.

His extensive experience in high-performance applications and geophysical software development has led to his involvement in projects related to technology transfer, securing 11 million euros in competitive financing and 8 million euros in industrial financing. Currently, he leads a multidisciplinary team comprising engineers, mathematicians, and physicists dedicated to high-performance applications (HPC) for geosciences within the Department of Computer Applications in Science and Engineering (CASE) at BSC

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Lluis Guasch , CSO
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He holds a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Imperial College London and a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the University of Barcelona (UB). Currently, he serves as a Research Fellow in the Departments of Earth Science and Engineering and Bioengineering at Imperial College.

His notable work in seismic imaging led to the successful founding of S-Cube, where he is a co-founder and holds authorship of two patents. Over the past four years, his research focus has shifted toward medical imaging. He currently leads an academic multidisciplinary team dedicated to translating seismic imaging technologies into the realm of ultrasound imaging.

He has actively contributed to numerous competitive R+D projects.

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Oscar Calderon Agudo , CDO
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He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Geophysics from Imperial College London, a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the University of Barcelona (UB), and a Master's in Applied Geophysics from ETH Zurich, TU Delft, and RWTH Aachen.

Currently, he serves as a Research Associate in both the Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. His doctoral thesis concentrated on utilizing full waveform inversion (FWI) for subsurface imaging, encompassing both the Earth's subsurface and the human body.

His outstanding research contributions have earned him several awards, including recognition for the best doctoral thesis in the department and honors for achievements in the field of medical imaging from UNESCO. He has authored multiple papers on the application of FWI for subsurface imaging and holds two patent applications, one related to body imaging.

Presently, he is engaged in exploring innovative geophysical techniques for human body imaging and serves as a founding partner of M-TRUST Imaging Ltd, an English company specializing in medical brain imaging

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Cristina Durán , COO
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She is a chemical engineer with substantial expertise in the medical device industry, with a particular focus on medical software.

Previously, she held the position of Associate Director at IEC Clinical Trials Imaging and, prior to that, served as Director of Operations at Surg Solutions, SL

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Julian Peña , CFO
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With a Master's in Business Administration and a Postgraduate degree in Control and Cost Analysis from IESE, they bring a wealth of experience as a financial consultant and CFO, having worked with both established companies and startups in the biotechnology and health sectors.

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Key team members

Juan Esteban Rodríguez
Solutions Architect & Cibersecurity Manager
Natalia Gutierrez
Software Engineer
Claudia Gras Andreu
Data Analyst
Laura Monlleó
Data Analyst
Sergi Torrabadella
Senior Software Engineer
Cristina Bandrés
Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Advisors

Rafael García Escarré
Co-Founder & Advisor
Dr. Ignacio Miranda
Medical advisor
Dra. Ana Rodríguez-Arana
Medical Advisor
Dr. Manuel Escobar
Medical Advisor

The problem

Breast cancer is a global health concern, affecting over 2 million women annually and claiming the lives of 600,000. However, early detection can significantly increase survival rates, with up to 95% of cases surviving when detected early. Hence, accurate and timely diagnosis is pivotal in our fight against this disease.

Presently, the primary method for screening and diagnosing breast cancer is mammography, considered the gold standard. However, mammograms have limitations, particularly for women with dense breast tissue, which applies to approximately 50% of women. Dense breast tissue can obscure potential tumors, necessitating additional tests, often conventional ultrasounds. Unfortunately, conventional ultrasound images have low resolution, and the ability to identify a tumor depends on the radiologist’s experience and even their state of mind during the examination.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that mammograms cannot be performed frequently, especially in young patients or those at higher risk, due to the associated radiation exposure.

Currently available image post-processing software and artificial intelligence tools rely on the original image quality from these devices, without improving the initial image quality. The results are thus limited by the quantity and quality of information provided by the original image.

The solution

UBIware is a supercomputing software equipped with advanced algorithms designed to produce high-resolution and high-quality images, enabling the effective detection of breast tumors, even in dense breast tissue. Additionally, by utilizing raw data from tomographic ultrasound, UBIware can generate multiparameter images, including parameters like speed of sound, density, and attenuation. These capabilities open doors for various artificial intelligence functionalities such as treatment response prediction and automatic lesion identification.

UBIware is offered as a scalable Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, accommodating a range of business models, including pay-per-image, subscription, and licensing

Our differentiation

UBIware is built upon the successful implementation of Full Waveform Inversion (FWI) technology, which our founders originally developed for subsurface imaging of the Earth. Our primary target customers include hospitals, medical centers, and manufacturers of USCT-type ultrasound hardware.

The current standard for breast cancer detection is mammography, which relies on X-rays and is considered the gold standard for screening tests. However, mammography has well-documented limitations:

  • It employs ionizing radiation, limiting its frequency of use and its suitability for certain populations based on age and risk.
  • It has a false-negative rate exceeding 20%, meaning it misses existing cancers.
  • It has a false-positive rate exceeding 10%, leading to the detection of non-existent cancers.
  • It struggles to detect cancer in women with dense breast tissue, which comprises approximately 50% of the population, as tumors may be hidden.
  • It lacks specificity, unable to distinguish between benign and cancerous abnormalities.

Currently, nearly half of women undergo multiple diagnostic imaging procedures, adding a substantial burden in terms of time and cost to healthcare systems. Significantly reducing this burden is crucial. UBIware, in combination with tomographic ultrasound, offers substantial improvements:

  • Safer data acquisition through non-ionizing radiation.
  • Higher resolution for tumor detection, even in dense breast tissue.
  • Reduction in false positives and false negatives.
  • Exceptional specificity, differentiating between benign (e.g., cysts) and cancerous (e.g., tumors) abnormalities.
  • High efficiency, facilitated by uncertainty quantification in the images.
  • Utilizes data acquired through a fast, cost-effective, and patient-friendly technology, minimizing user dependence.

Our primary users are radiologists and oncologists in hospitals and medical imaging centers, where breast cancer screening and diagnosis take place