Galway’s AuriGen Medical crowdfunds €3.2m in three weeks

16 Dec 2022

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, TD, and AuriGen Medical co-founder and CTO Tony O’Halloran. Image: AuriGen Medical

The start-up is developing a minimally invasive heart implant combining stroke prevention, heart failure monitoring and arrhythmia management.

University of Galway spin-out AuriGen Medical has raised €3.2m over three weeks through a crowdfunding campaign.

The start-up launched the campaign with Spark Crowdfunding to fund clinical trials of its minimally invasive heart implant next year. This implant aims to treat both the stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat.

AuriGen Medical had already raised €1.75m from institutional investors in Ireland and sought an additional €750,000 to fuel the trials. A total of 276 investors supported the crowdfunding campaign, pushing the funding past its target goal.

Founded in 2016, AuriGen Medical aims to improve the healthcare management of millions of chronic heart disease patients.

Its co-founder and CEO Dr John Thompson said current approaches to treat heart failure and atrial fibrillation – two of the world’s most common chronic cardiovascular diseases – require multiple expensive devices and procedures.

“Patients with chronic heart disease are at high risk of developing heart failure, atrial fibrillation, blood clots and stroke,” Thompson said. “Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure.”

He added that current devices that exist to filter out blood clots are challenging to implant, due to “sharp fixed barbs” that are used to hold the device in the heart.

“The devices also offer no treatment for arrhythmia or heart failure, and no ability to monitor patients at home post-procedure.”

AuriGen Medical said its medical device can integrate stroke prevention, heart failure monitoring and arrhythmia management in a single 30-minute day case procedure. It plans to have smart sensors in the device to detect changes to the heart in real time for more accurate data.

The BioInnovate Ireland spin-out raised €2.5m from the EU Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding scheme in 2018.

Based in Dublin, Spark Crowdfunding has more than 10,000 investors on its database and has raised funds for 32 Irish start-ups over the last four years.

“The AuriGen platform of technologies will elevate the current standard of care to new levels of safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness, and we are thrilled to be able to offer private investors and individuals the opportunity to be part of an exciting company,” said Spark Crowdfunding CEO Chris Burge.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic