Irish medtech start-up SymPhysis Medical raises €1.9m

Funding to help company finish product development and expand into US market

Irish medtech start-up SymPhysis Medical has raised €1.9 million in funding to help the company finish its product development and push into the US market.

The funding was led by three of the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) syndicates, with the MedTech Syndicate, Irrus Investments and Boole Investment Syndicate investing a combined €925,000. DBIC Ventures, Enterprise Ireland and a private investor also contributed to the round.

Founded by Tim Jones and Dr Michelle Tierney, SymPhysis Medical is developing a medical device that allows patients in palliative care who suffer from a build-up of fluid in the chest to care for themselves at home. It is designed to be less invasive and could potentially reduce hospitalisations for patients.

About half of metastatic cancer patients are affected by the condition, which can cause severe shortness of breath, chest pain and can be distressing. The patients can be fitted with a pleural catheter, which requires frequent medical assistance and is long term. In contrast, the Realeaze device can be removed after 30 days, and a study has shown it can be managed by patients without the assistance of a nurse.

The company has already filed two patent applications for the device, called Realeaze.

Quality of life

“Palliative care is concerned with quality of life from the point of diagnosis of a life-limiting condition to the time of death. It focuses on managing distressing symptoms, such as pain and discomfort, and should also support a patient’s mental and social well-being. The device will not only make patients more comfortable, but it can also give them the freedom to spend time with their loved ones and remain active and mobile, without being tied to their hospital or carers,” Mr Jones said.

“This funding will help us to deliver better quality of life to late-stage cancer patients and we will use it to support our international expansion, ensuring we reach as many patients as possible. The support of business angels from HBAN is essential as we embark on the next steps of our company’s journey. The angels have not only provided us with vital funding, but they also have valuable knowledge of – and experience in – our sector and a network of connections who can help us to make a meaningful global impact.”

The funding will be used to expand SymPhysis Medical’s team to seven people from the current three, complete product development and target FDA clearance. The company is working with two of the top cancer care centres in the US, including a clinical study that began in November, and usability studies to provide insights into how patients will interact with the device.

Once it achieves FDA clearance, the company expects test market sales to reach €1.5 million in the first year, which is predicted to start from the fourth quarter of 2023.

Following that, it will seek the CE Mark in the EU, predicting turnover to reach €49 million by the fourth quarter of 2025.