From devices that help monitor Parkinson’s to VR tech for healthcare training, here are some European start-ups making waves in medtech.
With the global population now at 8bn according to the UN, finding innovative ways to treat people around the world and keep them healthy is more important than ever.
So this Future Health Week, we take a look at some start-ups around Europe that are developing technologies to address everything from treating Parkinson’s and monitoring health on the go to training medical professionals using virtual reality tech.
London-headquartered Acurable is a medical device company developing wearables to help patients monitor health from the comfort of their home. Its first product is a device that detects and monitors obstructive sleep apnoea, a potential serious condition in which the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, obstructing breathing.
Last month, Acurable announced an €11m raise in Series A funding led by Kibo Ventures. The start-up was founded in 2016 by Esther Rodriguez-Villegas, Emilio Sanz and Anas Imtiaz.
This Munich-based medtech has developed the Advos multi-organ support device, which can support a critically ill patient’s lungs, liver and kidneys while also correcting blood pH.
Trinity spin-out Akara Robotics is a growing Irish start-up. It has built a fully autonomous UV disinfection robot called Violet, which aims to reduce turnaround times in clinical settings, as well as Stevie, a social care robot designed to interact with older people.
Last month, the start-up revealed that one of its decontamination robots was being tested in a UK hospital, and now it is trialling disinfection software at a hospital in Estonia.
AuriGen has developed a heart implant designed to treat both the stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with atrial fibrillation, or AFib.
Founded in 2016, the company is led by Tony O’Halloran and Dr John Thompson. The BioInnovate Ireland spin-out, based in Galway, raised €2.5m from the EU Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding scheme in 2018.
Also based in Galway, CapBuster is pitched as medical device to penetrate completely blocked arteries by incorporating engineering intelligence at a nano-level in angioplasty.
Supported by EIT Health, the company’s main device comprises a guidewire and balloon catheter combination device, with the addition of patented screw-thread technology.
CroíValve, which spun out of the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, is developing a device to fix the tricuspid heart valve without the need for surgery.
This Dutch start-up has developed an ambulant – or mobile – diagnostic platform for blood coagulation testing in patients. Led by CEO Guido Maertens, the Enzyre platform requires a small volume of blood to measure up to 16 reactions simultaneously with high sensitivity and specificity. This can be achieved in any setting, from the laboratory to the home.
Earlier this month, Enzyre announced that it raised €12m in Series A funding led by Oost NL to establish manufacturing capabilities.
Based in Paris, Ganymed Robotics is on a mission to develop the next generation of robotic assistance technologies for orthopaedic surgeons. The medical device start-up has developed a surgical robotic assistant for total knee arthroplasty to simply workflow and increase efficiency for surgeons.
Ganymed raised €21m in the first close of its Series B funding in July, led by Cathay Health.
Formerly known as Cardiatis, this Belgian clinical-stage medical device company has developed a proprietary technology to produce a multilayer stent. Intressa Vascular’s Allay aortic stent aims to treat the life-threatening type B aortic and residual dissections in a streamlined procedure.
Led by CEO Pierre Douette and CSO Diane Lejeune, Intressa recently secured €18m in financing led by international investors.
One of four Irish businesses to receive funding through an EIC Accelerator round earlier this year, InVera Medical was previously known as Venari Medical. The NUI Galway BioInnovate spin-out has developed a minimally invasive medical device that it hopes can tackle chronic venous disease at early and extreme stages.
The start-up was founded in 2017 by Stephen Cox, Nigel Phelan and Sean Cummins.
Another Galway-based medtech, Lifelet Medical is developing a novel polymer heart valve replacement – free from animal tissue – for patients with heart valve disease. The technology aims to improve clinical outcomes and increase valve durability, while reducing the cost and carbon footprint of valve manufacturing today.
Lifelet was one of four Galway companies to compete in the international MedTech Innovator competition in 2021.
This Irish-founded biotech start-up is testing therapies that can regenerate poor quality donor livers, with the aim of giving more people access to quality organs for transplants.
Based in Oxford, Ochre Bio was founded by Quin Wills and Athlone native Jack O’Meara in 2019. In a bid to find new treatments for chronic liver disease, it has generated spatial-sequencing, single-cell sequencing and imaging data in more than 1,000 diseased human livers across three continents.
Last month, Ochre Bio raised $30m in a Series A funding round backed by EIT Health.
OneProjects is an Irish-German medtech that develops 4D cardiac imaging technology. Last year, the medial device start-up raised $17m to support the development of its Verafeye technology, which is designed to treat AFib.
Verafeye uses advanced imaging and data analytics in conjunction with a catheter-based sensor system to provide 4D data from within the heart, with the aim to increase the efficacy and safety of treatment.
Oxford Medical Simulation
London-based Oxford Medical Simulation is on a mission to marry virtual reality technologies with healthcare. Founded by Jack Pottle and Michael Wallace in 2017, the start-up provides VR-based medical simulation for training healthcare professionals to provide patient management without risking lives.
The company raised £2.1m in funding last month backed by ACF Investors and Dr Nicolaus Henke.
Another London-based medtech, Serg Technologies has developed a device that provides early diagnosis and monitoring of neurodegenerative movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
It uses acoustic sensors to detect movement and assess the state of a patient’s muscles to provide a more objective way to identify symptoms and measure severity. Founded in 2019, the start-up raised £1.6m in a recent funding round.
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