NUI Galway medtech spin-out raises €2.5m in EU funding

Pictured: Tony O’Halloran and John Thompson, AuriGen

18 June 2018

NUI Galway-based medical device company, AuriGen Medical has received €2.5 million in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding, ranking number one out of 1,280 applications.

The company specialises in the treatment of patients with irregular heartbeats to mitigate their increased risk of stroke and heart failure.

The company was established by Tony O’Halloran and Dr John Thompson who met through NUI Galway’s BioInnovate Ireland Programme with Enterprise Ireland funding the development work at NUIG through a commercialisation fund programme.

Dr Thompson, a former intensive care physician and medical device engineer O’Halloran formed AuriGen Medical after meeting in 2015 when both were selected by the BioInnovate Ireland Programme at NUI Galway.

Persistent atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat, affects around 10 million patients across Europe and is associated with direct healthcare costs in the billions of euros each year. The AuriGen device uses sensors and software algorithms to give doctors real-time feedback on the quality of treatment, making for better patient outcomes and reduced costs.

The funding will be used to advance product development in preparation for first in human trials in 2020. The company will initially target the 200,000 persistent atrial fibrillation patients per year who are having repeat ablations due to reoccurrence after a first failed ablation procedure. With the costs of repeat procedures estimated at over $50,000 AuriGen’s device aims to deliver significant cost savings to healthcare providers.

The technology is based on clinical data underpinning the benefits of electrical isolation of the left atrial appendage in persistent atrial fibrillation. AuriGen Medical will compete in both the electrophysiology and structural heart markets, aiming to meet unmet clinical needs for both atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention.

“Ranking first in the Horizon 2020 SME instrument is an incredible endorsement of AuriGen Medical’s technology, market opportunity and the company’s management team,” said Dr Thompson.

O’Halloran, said: “Our pre-clinical trials have been very encouraging and the feedback from cardiologists is extremely positive. We are delighted to announce this investment, which will help us make a number of key hire’s, further advance our product development and once approved make a positive impact on the lives of millions of atrial fibrillation patients across the world.”

The Horizon 2020 National Support Network is led by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of the Dept of Business, Enterprise & Innovation.

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