Acquisition Opportunity

Sphere Medical Limited (in Administration)

Steve Absolom and Will Wright as the Joint Administrators (“Joint Administrators”) of Sphere Medical Limited (in Administration) (“Sphere Medical” or “the Company”) have appointed Hilco Streambank to actively seek interested parties with regard to the sale of the business and assets (the “Assets”) of Sphere Medical.


Business Overview

Established in 2001, Sphere Medical is an ex-AIM listed Cambridge-based biotech company that has raised £75m in equity funding. The company’s core competency is a functionalised multi-parametric ‘lab-on-a-chip’ technology that can be incorporated into healthcare domains to measure specific blood chemistry values.

Sphere Medical has applied this technology to the development of a closed-loop near real-time Point of Care Blood Gas Analyser (‘Proxima 4’), which achieved CE-mark accreditation and was used by more than 200 patients across 40 EU hospitals. Prior to entering into administration, the Company was developing Proxima 6, which had an expanded analyte panel and automated the majority of processes required to set up and run the device with minimal manual input. Proxima 6 was scheduled to reach approval in the EU and US in 2021.

Proxima - Background

Unmet Need

Blood Gas Analysis is the most frequently used diagnostic test in the Intensive Care Unit, but the state of the art is known to be archaic. Typically, BGA tests are performend by a nurse who takes a sample from an artery or arterial line, takes this sample to a benchtop BGA or hospital lab and then waits for the test to run before returning to the patient to act accordingly. This procedure can take up to 15 minutes: time away from the patient at a critical period. Unstable ICU patients can have conditions that deteriorate rapidly, requiring fast results. These patients require an average of 4-8 tests per day. Frequently, 30+ daily tests are required for patients that are severely ill.


A number of BGA devices exist within the market, but are cumbersome and rely on ex-vivo testing of blood obtained from direct sampling of an artery or arterial line. Repetitive blood sampling increases infection risk and, as the process is manual, can result in errors. In instances where BGA results are required immediately, such as where bleeds are suspected to be occurring in patients post-surgery, delay and error are significant unmet needs that are not addressed by existing tests on the market.


Using expertise in miniaturizable biosensor technology, Sphere Medical has developed a patient-connected Point of Care system for the monitoring of blood chemistries in arterial whole blood, for use in the diagnosis and management of critical care patients. Monitoring is on a near real-time basis, with testing occurring via a closed loop between the device and an arterial line. Sampling via a closed loop mitigates infection risk and reduces the risk of sample error. After testing, blood is automatically returned to the patient. The device provides critical results by the bedside and in near-real time, saving time, money, and improving patient outcomes.

Proxima 4 – A BGA successfully trialled in 200 patients across 40 hospitals

Sphere had developed and launched its Proxima 4 device, which was granted a CE-mark and trialled among 40 hospitals in the EU. Proxima 4 was designed for use in the intensive care unit, operating room or other clinical setting. Clinical opinion received on the back of the use of Proxima 4 has validated the clinical need, and influenced development of Proxima 6.

Proxima 6 – Improved device was progressing towards 510k approval

Proxima 6 was under technical development at the time the company went into administration. The device builds on feedback received to enhance the value proposition of Proxima 4, by adding analytes and automating the majority of processes required to set up and run the system. The company planned to complete CE-mark and 510k approvals at the end of 2020, and regulatory discussions with the FDA were underway.

The sale is a unique opportunity for a buyer to acquire assets of an ex-AIM medtech company with an approved and marketed medtech device. The sale of the company poses significant potential for a buyer looking to further develop the test, reposition the technology, or integrate the platform into other medtech products.

Available Assets


Extensive scientific and medical test equipment located in a cleanroom environment in North Wales and the company’s research centre in Cambridge. A comprehensive Equipment Schedule is available under NDA.

Clinical Data

Clinical Data supporting the safety and effectiveness of the Proxima device.


Sphere’s patent portfolio includes 7 families of 28 patents:

  • Current portfolio developed by Sphere at varying stages of prosecution.
  • Policy to proceed to grant in US, major EU countries.
  • At least 11 pieces of new IP covering key areas in Proxima 6 being vetted in patent filings.
  • Four patent families provide protection for a commercialised ‘Pelorus 1500’ product, a Point of Care device used for the detection and analysis of propofol, with applications in intensive care and operating theatres.

A patent schedule is available to download here.

Technical Documentation / Proprietary Know-How

Covering the ‘lab-on-a-chip’ platform:

  • Substantial additional intellectual property in the form of trade secrets
  • Sensor chip array manufacturing process (normal for silicon processing)
  • Sensor chip functionalisation processes
  • Sterilisation
  • Measurement algorithms

'Sphere Medical' and 'Proxima' Brands

The Proxima Brand is recognised by EU clinicians and corporate brand recognised within the industry.


Trade Marks

The Sphere Medical and Proxima brands are protected with registered Trade Marks in EU, US and GB.

A trade mark schedule is available to download here.

Domain Name

The key domain name www.Spheremedical.com.

Copyright in Web Content

Sphere Medical’s website has been professionally developed and contains details of the Company’s products and technology.

Sales Process

Please contact Hilco Streambank to obtain an NDA and for more information regarding the sale process. A Bid Submission Form is available on request.

Key Terms & Conditions

The bidder acknowledges that Hilco acts as an agent for the Joint Administrators who offer for sale only what right, title and interest (if any) the Company possesses in the assets. The information provided has not been verified by Hilco and bidders are deemed to have carried out their own due diligence.

VAT at 20% will be added to the price if applicable. A buyer's premium of 15% of the sale price is payable by the winning bidder. Legal completion to occur within 5 business days of bid acceptance. Hilco Streambank's full Terms and Conditions apply. 

Contact Us

For further information please contact the following Hilco Streambank representatives:. 

Interested Parties

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