Galway-based Atlantic Therapeutics has secured additional funding from long-time backers, according to newly filed company documents. The State-backed Western Development Commission (WDC) has also chipped in €2 million.
The funding boost comes as Atlantic continues to pivot towards selling directly to consumers rather than seeking to build the brand on the back of recommendations from medical professionals.
A spin-out from Bio-Medical Research Group, the company behind the well-known body-toning-belt product Slendertone, Atlantic is pioneering a non-invasive wearable treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI), an issue that affects an estimated one-in-three women globally.
The company’s flagship brand is Innovo, a neuromuscular electrical stimulation solution that treats incontinence, sexual-health dysfunctions and other associated disorders by strengthening muscles and modulating nerves of the pelvic floor. The wearable device is similar in style to a standard pair of cycling shorts and contains a number of electrodes.
Innovo was launched in the US market just under a year ago after receiving FDA approval for the product with the company also targeting a number of other jurisdictions, including the UK. The worldwide urinary incontinence market is valued at $13 billion (€10.7 billion).
Prior to the new investment, Atlantic had raised close to €50 million in funding from backers that include Andera Partners, Atlantic Bridge, via its China-Ireland growth technology fund, Earlybird and Irish venture capital firm Seroba Life Sciences.
The company declined to say how much it has received from existing partners other than to say it was “several million”. It did disclose that the WDC had provided €2 million in funding from its €75 million investment fund. This marks the largest investment to date by the organisation, which has backed over 200 businesses to date, including 34 other life-sciences companies.
A former Irish Times Innovation Awards winner, Atlantic will use the additional funding to ramp up commercialisation activities in core markets.
Direct to consumer
Chief executive Susan Trent, who joined the company in the middle of last year after 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline, has led the move to selling directly to consumers. She said the pivot was due in part to the fact that many women don't go to their doctor to discuss incontinence issues due to the "embarrassment factor".
She said backers were essentially funding the company through 2021 as it looks to gain more customers.
“It is a real vote of confidence that investors are backing our new strategy,” Ms Trent said.
Atlantic, which employs 30 people in Galway and another six in customer services based in Mayo, is expected to raise a Series C funding round later this year. The company is also developing another product targeting SUI, that is expected to launch later this year.
Daniel O’Mahony, a partner at Seroba, said last year had been transformational for Atlantic, in spite of the pandemic.
“This financing by the commission along with inside investors will support the expansion of the company’s commercialisation activities in the core US and UK markets for its Innovo technology to treat urinary incontinence,” he said.