Versono Medical raises €6.7m to bring vascular disease tech to market

3 May 2022

Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton, TD, with Versono R&D engineer Mary O’Donoghue. Image: Versono Medical

The Galway medtech has made a device to break down complex blockages in patients who have advanced forms of peripheral artery disease.

Galway start-up Versono Medical has raised €6.7m in funding to help bring its intravascular medical device to market.

The funding was raised from existing investors such as DHKN, BVP and private investors from the medical device sector. It also included backing from Enterprise Ireland and the Western Development Commission.

Versono has developed a device that uses ultrasonic technology to break down complex blockages in patients who have critical limb ischemia (CLI), an advanced form of peripheral artery disease (PAD).

The start-up’s Fastwire device carries ultrasonic waves through a flexible wire, which can help restore blood flow in affected limbs.

The medtech said this device could help reduce the need for more invasive and traumatic surgical procedures in PAD patients. It is estimated that more than 230m people worldwide are living with PAD.

“The fallout from a health perspective, from PAD, is enormous,” Versono CEO Finbar Dolan said. “It must be remembered that you can appear completely healthy and have this awful disease.

“Fastwire is compact and fits on a shelf. Rival devices have consoles that are much larger and require more staff with specialised training to run them,” Dolan added.

The latest funding will be used to complete clinical studies of the Fastwire device with a view to bringing it to market.

“We are both delighted and encouraged by the level of enthusiasm and support from our investor base,” Versono chair John O’Shaughnessy said. “It is truly exciting times for Versono as we move forward towards our clinical trials, and continue to build and develop the team, to advance our product development activities.”

Since being founded in 2018, Versono has grown to a team of 22 staff in part-time and full-time roles. Its management team is supported by a group of clinical advisers including Dr Craig Walker, chief organiser of the annual New Cardiovascular Horizons Conference.

On a recent visit to the company’s base in Parkmore West, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton, TD, said it is “exciting” to see the emergence of a disruptive vascular device that was designed and built in Galway.

“I am especially happy to see such a strong commitment from a Galway-based indigenous company who continue to strive to develop solutions to assist physicians save limbs and lives of patients all over the world,” Naughton said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic