25 Jan 2001
ICON secure £1m first round funding for pioneering software company Primal Pictures. Primal design advanced software for the healthcare sector and has developed an interactive package for "electronic dissection" of the human body.
The company’s core technology and expertise is 3D computer modelling techniques; allied to advanced medical imaging sources such as MRI. Primal create high-resolution CAD-CAM models of the human anatomy and 3D animations of the body in motion, the software is available either on CD or on-line over the internet.
With this funding, the company is now ideally positioned to take advantage of the rapidly expanding electronic healthcare market.
Informa Buys “Waking the Dead” Software Supplier
A British company whose technology has been used to make science come to life in the popular Waking the Dead and CSI television series has been sold to Informa for £12m. Primal Pictures specialises in software which displays medically accurate 3D models of the human anatomy. The directors of the London-based company are set to share in a £5m windfall as a result of the sale.
The business was set up in 1991 by documentary maker Laurie Wiseman and 3D graphics expert Chris Briscoe.
The pair are believed to own just under half of the company’s shares, along with chief executive Peter Allen and chairman David Carman. Other shareholders include a string of venture capital trusts (VCT) as a result of earlier fundraisings, including British Smaller Companies VCT and Rensburg AIM VCT.
Prior to the deal, Informa’s Taylor & Francis subsidiary held a 10pc stake.
The transaction saw Informa, which lies just outside of the FTSE 100 with a market capitalisation of £2.5bn, buy the 90pc of the company it did not already own.
Primal Pictures is understood to have generated sales of £4.1m last year, up from £3.3m in the prior year.
In addition to occasional starring roles in television programmes, the bulk of the company’s sales come from a string of medical institutes at colleges and universities. Education customers include Imperial College London and the University of Oxford, as well as Yale and Berkeley in the US.
The company’s interactive products, sold digitally, offer medical students the chance to learn via anatomically correct models of the entire body, as well as parts of the body such as the hand or hip.
Corporate customers include Merck, the pharmaceutical company. Future sales growth is expected to come from the rise of digital textbooks on smart phones and tablet computers, as well as the launch of Primal’s online anatomy and physiology learning resource.ICON originally raised funding for Primal in 2001.