The Luminate Medical team pictured in an office. They are standing and seated together amid two rows of desks.
Clockwise from bottom left: Barbara Oliveira, Jason Costello, Martin O’Halloran, Aaron Hannon, Brendan Divilly, Stephen Montgomery and Ellen Cahill from Luminate Medical. Image: Elkstone

Galway medtech Luminate Medical is hiring after $5m financing round

31 May 2022

The award-winning start-up is developing medical devices that address the side effects of cancer treatment, such as hair loss.

Luminate Medical has raised more than $5m in grant financing and a seed round investment.

The Galway-headquartered medical device company now aims to grow its R&D team with roles to be created in biomedical engineering, finite element analysis and product design.

The company is currently recruiting R&D engineers to join the team at its Galway office and expects to expand its US workforce in late 2023.

“We continue to expand our world-class R&D team here in Galway, with a number of open roles in engineering, regulatory and quality,” said CEO and co-founder Aaron Hannon.

“Our mission is to revolutionise the user experience of healthcare,” he said.

Luminate Medical sets out to develop medical devices that address the side effects of cancer treatment. The company’s first product, Lily, is a portable head-worn device that prevents the delivery of chemotherapy drugs to the hair follicles.

There are other devices on the market that use scalp cooling to stop the drugs from attacking the follicles. This method requires patients stay on for hours after treatment under extreme cold temperatures.

Lily makes use of Luminate’s patented compression therapy to offer a more mobile and comfortable alternative. Patients could purchase and access this hair loss treatment directly without needing to remain in the clinic.

The medtech start-up aims to complete its first in-patient clinical trial of Lily in Europe and the US this year and next. It is hoped this will put Lily on the road to FDA product clearance by 2023 and ready for market launch by 2024.

The company was founded in 2018 by Hannon, Dr Barbara Oliveira and Prof Martin O’Halloran while they were working as medical device researchers at NUI Galway.

After developing the technology through pre-clinical studies and clinical studies with healthy volunteers, the company was then backed by Y Combinator, landing a place in its S21 cohort.

Luminate also received grant funding from the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland, and was recognised as a high-potential start-up by the State agency.

Following its new financing announcement, Hannon said Luminate is “excited to partner with an international cohort of investors”.

Elkstone, SciFounders and Faber VC led the latest investment syndicate.

Alan Merriman, CEO of Dublin-based Elkstone, said this was “a truly good social impact investment for us”.

“Luminate’s patient-friendly hair loss prevention device will undoubtedly help transform the challenging chemotherapy experience for cancer patients,” said Merriman. “Luminate’s success in raising this funding round is grounded in years of foundational work and Elkstone is proud to be part of this stellar team’s journey in bringing this solution to market.”

Just last week, Luminate Medical took home an audience choice award at the EIT Health Summit in Stockholm.

The EIT Health Catapult competition showcased high-potential European start-ups to an audience of experts and investors. Luminate took home the Alex Casta Audience Award after coming second in the medtech category following an impactful pitch presentation.

As part of the award, Luminate Medical will have its logo displayed along with a message of congratulations on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square, New York, reaching an audience of millions.

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Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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