£5m investment helps Scottish dental biotech prevent decay

Press release 02 April 2024

  • New funding from the Scottish National Investment Bank and the Investment Fund for Scotland to support tooth decay detection technology
  • Investment will help medical device go to market after becoming the first produced in Scotland to secure FDA premarket approval

Edinburgh-based biotechnology firm, Calcivis, has secured £5m in funding to roll-out its cutting-edge dental technology.

The firm’s patented system uses a biological diagnostic agent in combination with an imaging device to enable early detection of tooth decay, which in turn can enable earlier preventative treatment.

The latest investment round was led by £4m of funding from the Scottish National Investment Bank (the Bank), along with £1m from IFS Maven Equity Finance, which is managed by Maven Capital Partners and is part of the Investment Fund for Scotland (IFS), delivered by the British Business Bank.

Calcivis will use the funds to bring its flagship product to market in the US after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted premarket approval, which is the most stringent regulatory review of the safety and effectiveness of medical devices. The system is the first Scottish medical device to secure the prestigious certification from the FDA.

The US market is the largest for medical technology and Calcivis anticipates a subsequent launch in the UK and other European markets. Through the Bank’s investment, Scotland will benefit from the potential returns of the multi-market launch, and the product will contribute to delivering the nation’s health and wellbeing aims.

Early diagnosis and treatment of tooth decay is essential, allowing patients to reverse the damage to their teeth before it is too late. This investment will enable us to launch our innovative product to global markets – first in the US and eventually in the UK – leading to faster diagnoses and early intervention treatments.

This technology has the potential to revolutionise prevention in oral health care, with cavities impacting more than 2 billion people globally, according to the World Health Organisation. We look forward to seeing where this product can go with the support of both the Scottish National Investment the Bank, and the Investment Fund for Scotland – through Maven.

Adam Christie CEO, Calcivis

Calcivis is a shining example of how Scotland is leading the way in developing cutting-edge technology that improves our health and wellbeing. We are proud to back the company’s pioneering work in dentistry and help its flagship product reach international markets, creating jobs in Scotland.

As a development investment bank, we see Calcivis’ technology as fully aligned with our Innovation mission, and the product’s launch in the UK has the potential to deliver substantial health benefits to people in Scotland.

Paul Callaghan Investment Director from the Bank
Tooth decay is the most common nontransmissible disease globally and is believed to cost western economies over $300 billion annually, much of which is spent treating, rather than preventing damage to our teeth. Maven is therefore delighted to be supporting Calcivis’ revolutionary technology which allows both dentist and patient to visualise active decay at a point where it can be reversed and which should reduce the need for drilling and filling. We look forward to working with the Calcivis team as they launch this exciting new product. David Milroy Partner, Maven
Health tech and life sciences are key areas of opportunity for the Scottish economy and, through the Investment Fund for Scotland, we’re committed to supporting businesses with high-growth potential such as Calcivis. Our ambition with the fund is to improve access to finance for founders and entrepreneurs across Scotland, providing critical funding to help exciting businesses take the next steps – in this instance, bringing new products to new markets. Ken Cooper Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank

Calcivis aims to revolutionise early-intervention diagnostics in dentistry. Its innovative technology uses bioluminescence to image early, active decay. This quick process enables dentists and their patients to see where preventive measures are required before the decay becomes irreversible.

Through its collaboration with other innovators in Scotland, Calcivis has shown potential for innovative, lower carbon manufacturing processes, which it will continue to develop as it exports the product to global markets. The company will remain based at Edinburgh’s BioQuarter, where its research and development operations will grow and where the anticipated product launch will support Scottish dentistry patients.

Since it was founded in 2012, Calcivis has raised over £18m in funding. Investors include Scottish Enterprise and Archangels, which is the world’s longest-running business angel investment syndicate and has been involved with the company from the outset.

We are delighted to welcome the Bank and the Investment Fund for Scotland through Maven, alongside our strong syndicate of investors at this exciting juncture as we roll out a new level of preventive dentistry with the revolutionary Calcivis product. Sarah Hardy Head of New Investments and Director, Archangels

The Scottish National Investment Bank is Scotland’s first development investment bank and provides patient capital to businesses and projects throughout Scotland to support a fairer and more sustainable economy. Its investment in Calcivis aligns to its mission to scale up innovation and technology, contributing to a more competitive and productive economy.

The British Business Bank’s £150m Investment Fund for Scotland covers the whole of Scotland and provides loans from £25k to £2m and equity investment up to £5m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to start up, scale up or stay ahead.

The purpose of the fund is to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across Scotland. IFS will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses in Scotland, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.


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Notes to editors

About Calcivis

Calcivis is an Edinburgh-based dental biologic and device manufacturer, co-founded in 2012 by CEO Adam Christie and CTO Bruce Vernon. The company combines product development, clinical and commercial expertise with the aim of reducing the dental sector’s reliance on costly, complex and painful surgical interventions. It is internationally focused through its relationships with leading clinicians and other stakeholders in dental markets around the world.

The Calcivis Imaging System, which is UKCA and CE marked, was developed with input from leading international specialists in tooth decay and erosion. Since its development, multiple pre-clinical and clinical studies have designed to support the company’s regulatory filing to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

About the Scottish National Investment Bank

The Scottish National Investment Bank (The Bank) is Scotland’s first development investment bank, wholly owned by the Scottish Government ministers on behalf of the people of Scotland since its establishment in November 2020. It is a public limited company (PLC), that operates independently from government.

The Bank provides patient (long term) debt or equity investments to businesses and projects throughout Scotland to support the development of a fairer, more sustainable economy. As an impact investor, the Bank is focused on delivering both commercial returns and impacts that align with at least one of its three missions:

  • Net zero: Addressing the climate crisis through growing a fair and sustainable economy
  • Innovation: Scaling up innovation and technology for a more competitive and productive economy
  • Place: Transforming communities to make them places where everyone thrives

The Scottish Government has committed to capitalising the Bank with £2bn in its first 10 years.  Over time as the Bank’s initial investments are repaid, the Bank will reinvest those funds in businesses and projects, creating a perpetual investment fund to support the Scottish economy in the long term.


About Maven Capital Partners LLP

Maven (a subsidiary of Mattioli Woods plc) is a leading private equity house focused on the provision of flexible funding for high growth businesses, and one of the most active SME investors in the UK. Headquartered in Glasgow, and with offices throughout the UK, Maven has over 100 investment and support professionals providing a truly nationwide coverage. Maven has over £790 million funds under management and available to invest, and manages assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, MBO Fund, UK regional fund mandates, and Maven Investor Partners, a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors.


About the Investment Fund for Scotland

  • Operated by the British Business Bank, the Investment Fund for Scotland (IFS) provides a mix of debt and equity funding. IFS will offer a range of commercial finance options with smaller loans from £25k to £100k, debt finance from £100k to £2m and equity investment up to £5 million. l It works alongside the in-region small business finance ecosystem, local intermediaries such as accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Scotland’s smaller businesses at all stages of their development.
  • The funds in which the IFS invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in: Greater Glasgow, Greater Edinburgh, Aberdeen and North East, Dundee and Tayside, South of Scotland and the Highlands & Islands.
  • Supported by Nations and Regions Investments Limited, a subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the Bank is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. Neither Nations and Regions Investments Limited nor British Business Bank plc are authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)