Galway med-tech company Capsos raises €2.2m from AIB Seed Capital

29 Jan 2015

Brendan McLaughlin, CEO and founder of Capsos Medical; with Paul Dullahan, AIB; and Rory Hynes, Enterprise Equity

Galway-based med-tech start-up Capsos Medical has raised €2.2m in funding from the AIB Seed Capital Fund to pioneer its new treatment for unblocking arteries.

The company is pioneering a new treatment of chronic total occlusions (CTOs), which are complete blockages of an artery resulting in reduced blood flow and a lower quality of life. 

CTOs are encountered in up to 30pc of all patients who undergo angiography. This equates to about 1.8m CTOs globally. Fifty per cent are treated with medication, 40pc receive bypass surgery, and only 10pc are treated using minimally invasive techniques. The ‘CapBuster’ device will enable minimally invasive treatment of a large segment of this market.

Capsos’ ‘CapBuster’ solution is a balloon catheter and guidewire combination device that enables physicians to re-open the most resistant occlusions where a calcified cap has formed on the surface of the blockage.

The funding syndicate included AIB Seed Capital Fund, Business Angels from HBANs MedTech and IRRUS Investment syndicates, Enterprise Ireland, Western Development Commission, AIB Start Up Accelerator Fund and the company founders.

The investment will accelerate the development of CapBuster, prove the product’s value through clinical studies, and enable the company to access the large global market.

US patent secured

Addressing a recognised gap in the market, ‘CapBuster’, which has a US granted patent, has been designed to provide a simple, cost-effective and mechanically superior method to improve patient quality of life and has the potential to eliminate the need for more expensive and invasive alternatives, such as medication and bypass surgery, which are the current standard of care.

“Penetrating CTOs is often described as the final frontier of angioplasty, so new treatment methods attract a lot of attention from the clinical community,” said Capsos CEO and founder Brendan McLaughlin, whose previous med-tech start-up Brivant was sold to US multinational Lake Region Medical in 2009.

“To date, none of the existing devices on the market can penetrate a calcified cap in a safe, slow and controlled manner.

“Our technology has the potential to become the standard of care while simultaneously reducing the cost of healthcare. ‘CapBuster’ utilises the mechanical advantage of a screw-thread to apply gradual, sustained pressure using the balloon catheter as an anchor to hold the device in place for a more controlled approach, thus reducing patient risk.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years