Biotech Capital Limited (ASX: BTC) is pleased to announce it has agreed to invest $2 million in private Australian company Sensear Pty Ltd ("Sensear") as part of an overall $3 million funding round completed by the company.
Sensear has a range of technologies related to hearing enhancement. Its first commercial product is due to be released to the occupational health and safety market in late 2007.
The underlying technology was originally developed at the Western Australian Telecommunications Research Institute (WATRI). The core technology allows for speech recognition and enhancement in a diverse range of noisy environments.
The first commercial application is in hearing muffs and plugs that can be worn by users in noisy environments allowing them to hear speech without removing the hearing protection. In addition, the technology also allows users to speak on their mobile phones without removing hearing protection.
Hearing protection in the workplace is an important issue facing employers and Sensear aims to fulfill an unmet need in the market. The company has been in extensive consultation with its protective customer market and commercial interest appears to be strong.
Sensear recenty enjoyed success at an annual iAwards presented by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Financial Review, and the CSIRO which seeks to recognize the best Australian ICT innovations each year. Sensear was the only company to take out two innovation awards taking first place in the "Healthcare" and "Research & Development" categories.
In addition to positioning the company for the commercial launch of its products the funds raised will also be used to explore other applications of the technology including assisted listening device applications. Initial indications from groups operating in this market suggest this could become an important medical market for Sensear.
Following this investment BTC will be the largest shareholder in Sensear and will have Board representation.
The investment is consistent with previous shareholder communication in moving to reposition BTC's investment portfolio towards later stage companies either generating revenues or in human clinical trials.
About BioTech Capital Ltd
BioTech Capital Ltd ("BTC") is one of Australia's largest life-science-focused private equity funds. With approximately $10 million in investment funds still available, the company is well placed to continue to develop a diversified portfolio of high-quality Australian life-science investments.
BTC currently has investments in a diverse group of Australian life-science companies including Alchemia, Biocomm, Continence Control Systems, Neurodiscovery, Pacific Knowledge Systems, Phylogica, Sensear, Starpharma, Stem Cell Sciences, and XRT. As a registered Pooled Development Fund (PDF), investors are generally exempt from tax on capital gains and income.
BTC i listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (Code: BTC) and is managed externally by Titan BioVenures Management.