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Ireland-UK, EIT Health Ireland-UK

Ireland’s Health Innovators: three start-ups making an impact internationally

16th March 2022

In 2021, Irish exports totalled €165 billion, with 38% of that accounting for medical and pharmaceutical products. Ireland’s MedTech sector is well-established as one of the leading clusters for medical device products globally, with over 300 companies operating in this space. For such a small country we support a vibrant health innovation community and punch well above our weight by holding an impressive position as the second biggest exporter of medical device technology globally.

Ireland also plays host to burgeoning educational programmes that produce successful health tech entrepreneurs such as Tangent, Trinity Idea’s Workspace and the BioInnovate fellowship at NUI Galway. To mark St. Patrick’s Day, we at EIT Health Ireland-UK take a closer look at three innovative Irish start-ups that have been affiliated with these academic institutions and are now making waves in health tech on an international scale.

ProVerum

A Trinity College Dublin spin-out, ProVerum was co-founded by Ríona Ní Ghriallais and Dr. Conor Harkin in 2016. ProVerum delivers treatment for patients with symptomatic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a common medical condition among men whereby the prostate gland becomes enlarged, causing difficultly with urination.

ProVerum recently closed Series A funding to the value of €30M to fund further development of its minimally invasive treatment for BPH via the ProVee solution. ProVerum received approval from the US Food and Drink Administration (FDA) to commence trials, after ProVee demonstrated promising results in a feasibility study in Australia’s Royal Melbourne Hospital. Their growth so far shows the value of taking an international approach to the testing and validation of a solution.

Wellola

Sonia Neary co-founded Wellola in 2016. Wellola offers hospitals and GPs secure telehealth and patient portal platforms as healthcare moves from clinical settings to the home, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.

Under Sonia’s leadership, Wellola is enjoying major success in Europe. She has collaborated with the HSE and NHS to date, set up an office in Germany, and is selling into the Italian market as a result of being part of the EIT Health network.

Selio Medical

Selio Medical was founded by Colm McGarvey and Garrett Ryan who met at NUI Galway’s BioInnovate programme. The start-up is developing a cutting edge medical device that aims to transform lung biopsy procedures by eliminating the complication of a collapsed lung, which is common, costly and dangerous.

The company is already beginning to look globally, seeking advice from regulatory consultants in the US, and has a clear path through FDA and CE mark approval. With over one million lung biopsy procedures carried out globally per annum, Selio Medical’s device could prevent more than 350 000 cases of lung collapse annually.

Another TCD-spin out, Selio Medical has been making an impression abroad, having been accepted to the prestigious National Science Foundation I-corps Accelerator Program in Georgia Tech, Atlanta. The company was also selected to take part in the industry leading Medtech Innovator Accelerator in 2017 in San Francisco where they placed third out of 600 entries.

Innovators such as ProVerum, Wellola, and Selio Medical have benefitted from being part of EIT Health’s European network, collaborating with a wider pool of healthcare’s brightest minds internationally. Within the EIT Health community, we provide a framework from which co-creation can take place across borders. Our diverse network of 150+ health innovation partners bridges knowledge gaps, builds consortia and helps start-ups scale into Europe and beyond.

At EIT Health we have supported 70 Irish medtech, biotech, and digital health start-ups raise €129M in investment with more than €73m of that occurring in 2021 through our range of programmes that provide access to Europe. Find the programme that’s right for you to scale internationally here.

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