AuriGen Medical to raise €750,000 to crowdfund clinical trials

Company has already raised more than €15m for an implant for treating chronic heart disease

Irish medical devices company AuriGen Medical is raising €750,000 to help fund clinical trials for its heart implant that it hopes could revolutionise the management of chronic heart disease.

The crowdfunding campaign, which is being conducted through Spark Crowdfunding, will facilitate clinical trials due to start next year.

The current methods for treating heart failure and atrial fibrillation involve multiple devices and procedures, which can be expensive. NUI Galway-based AuriGen has developed a minimally invasive implant that can help treat stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with atrial fibrillation.

“Despite much focus and advancement on the treatment of chronic heart disease, it still kills more Europeans than cancer, crippling healthcare systems and costing the EU over €210 billion every year,” said AuriGen Medical co-founder and chief executive Dr John Thompson. “Patients with chronic heart disease are at high risk of developing heart failure, atrial fibrillation, blood clots and stroke. Devices exist to filter out these blood clots, reducing stroke risk. However, implantation of these devices is challenging because of sharp fixed barbs used to hold the device in the heart, which can tear the heart wall causing significant injury. The devices also offer no treatment for arrhythmia or heart failure, and no ability to monitor patients at home post procedure.”

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The AuriGen device integrates stroke prevention, heart failure monitoring and arrhythmia management into a single 30-minute procedure that can be treated as a day case. It will include smart sensors to detect changes in the heart in real time, to give more accurate data at an earlier stage, which is transferred from a hand-held receiver at home to a secure cloud service that can be accessed instantly by their doctor.

The crowdfunding campaign follows AuriGen’s fundraising round that saw it raise €1.75 million from institutional investors in Ireland. That brought the total funding to more than €15 million, which includes two EU grant award programmes.

“We have recently raised €1.75 million from institutional investors and we are now exclusively inviting Spark Crowdfunding members the opportunity to invest on the exact same terms, but with the added benefit of a 40 per cent tax rebate through the EIIS scheme,” AuriGen Medical co-founder Siora Maclean said.

Investors on the Spark Crowdfunding platform will be investing at a 40 per cent discount to venture capitalists, due to AuriGen’s qualification as an EIIS company.

Dublin-based Spark Crowdfunding has more than 10,000 investors on its database, and in the past four years has raised funds for 32 Irish start-ups.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist