University of Sussex spinout company TexRAD has been bought by medical imaging tools specialists Feedback plc, as part of a deal worth almost £800,000.

TexRAD has developed a radical new imaging software that can extract vital additional information from whole-body diagnostic images of patients with cancer and other diseases. The software, which is currently being employed as a research tool in a number of prestigious clinical and research hospitals around the world, uses a patented technology that extracts and quantifies visually imperceptible texture features from existing radiological images such as CT and MRI scans, mammography and ultrasound.

A number of high-impact research publications have demonstrated the potential for TexRAD to assist clinicians in optimising patient care based on risk and severity of the disease, and could be used to modify treatment early and improve patient outcome.

TexRAD was originally a joint venture between the University of Sussex, Imaging Equipment Ltd, Cambridge Computed Imaging Ltd (CCI) and Miles Medical Pty Ltd, based on research by Professor Chris Chatwin, Dr Balaji Ganeshan and Dr Rupert Young from the Department of Engineering and Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), and Professor Ken Miles (formerly BSMS).

The software was developed commercially following a grant from the University’s Enterprise Development Fund, which was set up to back commercially viable innovations based on University research and help to bring them to market. It provides funding and support to help academics get new products, ideas and creative solutions off the ground. This was supported by the Sussex Innovation Centre, which provided business and facilities support to the enterprise.

The purchase of TexRAD by Feedback will enable the investment necessary to gain the relevant regulatory approvals so that the software can become a standard clinical tool.

Professor Michael Davies, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University, said: “We are delighted that Feedback plc recognises the clinical and commercial potential of TexRAD. We look forward to seeing the further development of the product, and hope to work with the company in doing so.

“Innovative companies and other organisations are beginning to see the huge benefits of collaborating with universities like Sussex, where we are carrying out internationally high-quality research in a number of areas. By working together, we can ensure that our research has both lasting academic value and impact that benefits and enriches society.”

Feedback bought TexRAD and CCI and the underlying intellectual property relating to TexRAD for a total of £473,900. An additional £300,000 has been raised through a share subscription and will fund the growth of the businesses.

Feedback’s Chief Executive, Nick Shepheard, said: “TexRAD and CCI have made great strides in developing the business from original research at the University. Aided by the enlarged group’s balance sheet and access to public markets via our AIM listing, we look forward to building on their successes to date and introducing the next generation of their image analysis tools to a wider market.”

TexRAD is a software application that analyses the textures in existing radiological scans to assist the clinician in assessing the prognosis of patients with cancer.