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Eight new jobs on way as medical tech firm raises £2.4m in funding

A Belfast medical technology firm is creating eight jobs after raising £2.4m.

Axial3D, which employs 18 people, 3D-prints anatomical models that are said to make surgery more efficient.

They can be used in education and planning and apply across all medical specialisms from cardiology to orthopaedics.

The company, which is based on Linenhall Street, is to undertake further research and development and push expansion into key markets after raising the funds.

Its main aim is to use artificial intelligence in its software, which it said would reduce the time spent on pre-production, enabling more organisations to use its 3D-printed models.

The process to raise the funds was led by international science and technology investor Imprimatur Capital Fund Management, which is based in London.

Overseas, the round was supported by US angel investors, including a large number of surgeons.

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In Northern Ireland, meanwhile, Axial3D received further support from initial investor Techstart Ventures.

Other early-stage investors include Clarendon Fund Management and Innovation Ulster Ltd.

Daniel Crawford, chief executive of Axial3D, said the funding represented an important step for the business.

"The closure of this investment round marks an important milestone for our company," Mr Crawford added.

"It will accelerate our growth within new markets and enable us to bring our 3D-printing solution to more healthcare organisations, helping them to drive down costs, improve compliance and, ultimately, enhance patient care."

Mr Crawford said continuous innovation was crucial to keep up with customer demand.

He also highlighted that the company had recently collaborated with a healthcare organisation in the US and a hospital in Switzerland.

"We will focus attention on the north American and European markets, recruiting more talent for our base in Belfast and continuing to innovate to find new ways to bring 3D printing on demand to the entire healthcare sector," he said.

John Murray, investment director of Techstart Ventures, described the funding as a key moment for the Axial3D.

"Their ground-breaking work has the potential to change surgery at a global level and we look forward to supporting the company in achieving its future ambitions," he said.

Tim Brundle, director of research and impact at Ulster University, hailed the successful funding round.

"Ulster University's investment company, Innovation Ulster Ltd, is proud to have participated in this investment round and assisted with the access to the necessary capital for the scale-up of axial3D," he said.

The company said the market for the printing of medical devices was set to expand by approximately 25%.

It recently announced that a 3D-printed model used in a brain aneurysm surgery case had been shortlisted for a major award.

The figure was printed from patient scans for the clinical team at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in the US.

It was used to plan the procedure and to support patient education and consent.