Galway-based medtech company Perfuze has raised €22.5 million in funding for the development of a new stroke treatment.
Founded by Wayne Allen and Liam Mullins in 2018, two years after they sold their previous company Embo Medical in a €43.5 million deal, Perfuze is developing catheter-based technology to facilitate fast, complete clot removal during acute ischemic stroke.
According to the World Health Organisation, stroke is the second leading global cause of death and a leading cause of disability. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked by a clot, preventing blood flow. Perfuze’s technology aims to provide superior clinical outcomes in shorter procedural times, resulting in safe cost-effective therapy.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Allen, the company’s chief executive, said there are currently about 11 million strokes a year, leading to 4.5 million deaths. Total direct medical costs related to stroke are projected to be $100 billion (€87.5 billion) by 2035.
Only 150,000 clot removal procedures were performed last year meaning, he said, there was a “significantly underpenetrated market” for Perfuze’s solutions. “This is a huge multibillion euro opportunity. Globally, only 1 to 2 per cent of patients are being treated currently,” Mr Allen said.
The new Series A funding round brings to €25.5 million the total funding raised to date.
LSP, one of Europe's largest healthcare investment firms, led the latest financing. LSP, which has also backed Irish companies, Atlantic Therapeutics and OneProjects, was joined by Dublin-based venture capital firm Seroba Life Sciences and SV Health in the funding round.
Existing investors, including Earlybird, the HBM-MedFocus Fund, Enterprise Ireland and a syndicate of Irish business veterans and stroke physicians, also participated.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to drive the next stage of US clinical study and regulatory clearance of Perfuze’s Millipede System. The funds will also be used to support ongoing development of new products and to initiate commercialisation of its technology.
Perfuze has already secured CE Mark approval for its first device, Millipede 088 and has successfully treated its first cohort of patients.
Perfuze currently employs 20 people and expects to have doubled headcount at the company by the end of next year.
With the closing of the Series A financing round, Anne Portwich, partner at LSP, and Daniel O'Mahony, partner at Seroba Life Sciences, will join the Perfuze board. Megan MacDonagh, senior associate at SV Health investors is also joining as an observer.