Irish medtech company ProVerum has raised €30 million to support its clinical programme as it looks to go to market with its ground-breaking ProVee device in both Europe and the US.
The series A funding round was co-led by Gilde Healthcare and Lightstone Ventures, with Atlantic Bridge and other existing investors also participating.
ProVerum, which was founded by Ríona Ní Ghriallais and Conor Harkin in 2016 as a spinout from Trinity College Dublin, has developed a novel treatment solution for patients with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is a common condition where the prostate gland is enlarged, causing difficultly with urination and potentially kidney problems too.
The medtech has come up with a nitinol expander that gently reshapes the enlarged prostate and thereby alleviates the symptoms caused by BPH. The procedure is designed to be safely performed in a doctor’s office setting under local anaesthetic.
ProVerum recently received approval from the US Food and Drink Administration (FDA) to commence a pivotal trial there. This came after the company's first successful in-human study at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia, which showed immediate and durable improvements in symptoms and no device-related serious adverse events in subjects over the following two years.
It is estimated that over 25 per cent of men aged 50 years and over are impacted by BPH. The idea for ProVerum initially came from the founders talking to men suffering with BPH, with many saying they couldn’t get relief from medication and others not wanting to go through the often major surgery required to correct the problem.
"The strong investor support from both Gilde Healthcare and Lightstone Ventures further underscores the opportunity and the progress ProVerum has made thus far. We are looking forward to bringing our patient-friendly solution to market in order to offer BPH sufferers a simple, safe and effective treatment in the doctor's office," said chief executive Paul Bateman.
In conjunction with the closing of the funding round Dave Amerson has been named as chairman of ProVerum's board of directors. Mr Amerson was previously chief executive of Neotract, the developer of UroLift, a treatment solution for BPH. Under his leadership the company grew sales to over $100 million, with the company sold in 2017 for $1.15 billion.
Caroline Gaynor of Lightstone Ventures and Henry Zubaida of Gilde are also to join the board.
Gilde and Lightstone both previously participated in a €40 million investment for fellow Irish medtech Foundry Innovation & Research 1 (Fire1) in 2018.
Gilde, which is headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is a specialised healthcare investor managing over €1.4 billion across two funds.
Silicon Valley-headquartered Lightstone, which also has an office in Dublin, has led deals resulting in 19 acquisitions and 20 initial public offerings (IPOs) over the last two decades. It previously partnered with Enterprise Ireland and the NPRF to establish a $172 million venture capital fund to invest in innovative Irish companies.
Among the other local companies it has backed are ALX Oncology and Carrick Therapeutics.