Amara Therapeutics raises €3m for app targeting bladder health

8 May 2023

Dr Emma Carr and Brendan Staunton. Image: Amara Therapeutics

BladderBoss is the start-up’s latest product that includes an eight-week programme to help women manage an overactive bladder.

Galway-based medtech Amara Therapeutics has announced the raise of €3m to invest in its latest app that helps women suffering from an overactive bladder to better manage their health.

Overactive bladder, also known as OAB, is a debilitating condition that affects an estimated 400,000 women in Ireland alone. Symptoms include urinary urgency and frequency that is considered far higher than normal levels.

Current treatments to treat OAB include medications, bladder Botox injections and neuro-stimulation implants. However, these procedures can be invasive and often come with side effects.

Named BladderBoss, the app from Amara Therapeutics comes with an eight-week programme that aims to help women better manage OAB using methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy alongside physical exercises such as bladder retraining and pelvic health pilates.

“The behavioural techniques we deliver have a considerable body of scientific evidence behind them. They are just difficult and time consuming for patients to access,” said Dr Emma Carr, co-founder and COO of Amara, who is also a health psychologist by profession.

“Our products provide this proven approach in an accessible and convenient way.”

BladderBoss includes interactive video and audio that educates users about bladder health and conditions that affect it, giving them a series of challenges and tasks to complete in their own time. The app is currently available through both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Founded by Carr, Brendan Staunton and Prof Geoffrey Cundiff in 2021, Amara hopes to raise an additional €5m in a seed round this year to further invest in its pipeline of products that require regulatory approval.

“OAB is just our initial target condition, we plan to have a series of other products targeting a range of pelvic and bladder health conditions for women available in the near term,” said Cundiff, a veteran urogynecologist with more than 35 years’ experience.

“One in three women will suffer from a pelvic and bladder health condition in their lifetime and it is our mission to ensure every woman has access to affordable and effective first line treatments.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic