24 Oct 2019 | 03.27 pm
Atrian Medical Raises €2.3m Seed Funding
€400,000 plus sourced from public funding
24 Oct 2019 | 03.27 pm
Galway medical tech company Atrian Medical has raised €2.3m in seed funding to further develop its new device to treat atrial fibrillation.
The NUI Galway spin-out will use the money to support the first trials of the device on humans, with the first patients expected to be treated in about one year.
The technology was conceived at the Mayo Clinic in the US, the company has further progressed the device in Ireland, and is now ready to begin clinical trials.
The seed investment was led by the Western Development Commission and the investors include Mayo Clinic Ventures, Enterprise Ireland, Atlantic Bridge and Xenium Capital, as well as angel investors with a strong medical technology track record.
Company allotment documents disclose that €400,000 taxpayer investment through an Enterprise Ireland payment effected in September 2019.
The irregular heartbeat of atrial fibrillation causes the subject to have palpitations, weakness, fatigue and dizziness. In addition, patients with AFib are five times more likely to have a stroke due to the formation of clots. Globally, it affects 2% of the population under the age of 65, and 9% of the population over the age of 65.
Existing treatments have limited effects, and anti-arrhythmic drugs have extensive side effects. Atrian believes its device can answer the existing inadequacies in treatment. The new device, it says, treats five specific locations on the outside surface of the heart where atrial fibrillation initiates, without either burning or freezing the tissue.
“The device delivers very short and precise electrical signals that ‘knock-out’ hyperactive neuronal cells at these locations. This reduces the overall ‘sensitivity’ of the heart to AFib, providing a very long-term, and durable treatment as these hyperactive cells will not regenerate.”
Chief executive Ken Coffey said: “Securing this seed round funding will allow us to progress towards clinical trials to find long-term resolution of this prevalent and debilitating disease. There is currently no suitable treatment and we believe our technology will offer patients a powerful and safe treatment that should last for years.”
The device has been developed at NUIG as a result of Enterprise Ireland’s over-arching agreement with the Mayo Clinic for collaboration with Irish third level colleges.
Mayo Clinic cardiac electrophysiologist Samuel Asirvatham added: “The need for improved approaches to treatment of AFib is immense and we are very pleased to be supporting the Atrian team as they now bring forward this novel technology to patient trials.”
Photo (back row l-r): Barry O’Brien, Atrian Medical, Jonathon Kavanagh, WDC, Ken Coffey, Atrian Medical, Alan Hobbs, Enterprise Ireland, and Declan Quinn, Xenium Capital. Front row l-r: John Reilly, Atrian Medical and Eimear Gleeson, Atlantic Bridge. (Pic: Aengus McMahon)