Cork medtech firm AventaMed secures €1.8m to take grommets Stateside

19 Oct 2017

From left: John Vaughan, co-founder and CTO, AventaMed; Jack Cashman, AventaMed chair, lead angel, member of HBAN medtech syndicate and Irrus Investments; Olive O’Driscoll, co-founder and CEO, AventaMed; and Bruce Clibborn, HBAN Boole investment syndicate and board member of AventaMed. Image: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Cork-based medical device manufacturer AventaMed has secured €1.8m in funding to get FDA approval for the US market.

Formed as a spin-out company from Cork Institute of Technology by co-founders Olive O’Driscoll and John Vaughan in 2013, medical device manufacturer AventaMed is turning its focus to the US market.

The start-up announced a new round of funding worth €1.8m from the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), which will cover its FDA approval and commercialisation of its Solo Tympanostomy Tube Device (Solo TTD), which enables the quick and simple insertion of ear grommets.

With FDA approval, the company can begin to target a market that already sees 2m grommet surgeries undertaken each year in Europe and the US alone.

The Solo TTD offers an alternative solution to treating the condition that leaves children facing multiple ear infections, by offering a method of inserting grommets without requiring general anaesthetic.

The three HBAN angel syndicates – the HBAN medtech syndicate, Boole investment syndicate and Irrus Investments, together with Enterprise Ireland (EI) and independent angel investors – completed the round.

Largest angel investment to date

This is HBAN’s largest angel investment to date, both in terms of funding and the number of angels involved.

It is the second round of angel and EI funding that AventaMed has received, having raised €1.3m in 2015. This allowed it to successfully complete clinical trials and obtain European regulatory approval (the CE mark) to commercialise the device in Europe.

“We are thrilled to close this investment round as it will enable AventaMed to obtain FDA clearance for the device so that patients in the US may also benefit from our innovative technology,” said O’Driscoll.

The lead angel of the investment and new chair of AventaMed, Jack Cashman, added: “I first met the co-founders in 2014 and was very impressed by the team and the device that they had developed.

“From a very early stage, they showed the potential to grow from a small research project to a lucrative medical devices company, with pipeline products already on the drawing board.”

Earlier this year, AventaMed was included among’s 15 top companies producing medical devices in Ireland.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic