MOWOOT secures over €2M from Next Generation funds

25th April 2024

EIT Health-supported start-up MOWOOT has received over €2 million from Next Generation EU funds to develop a digital platform for managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In collaboration with Institut Guttmann, they introduced the first non-pharmacological solution for chronic constipation in 2018, based on their patented ‘Intermittent Colonic Exoperistalsis’™ (ICE) technology.

Now, with additional funding from the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and in collaboration with Eurecat and the Fundació d’Investigació en Atenció Primària Jordi Gol i Gurina, they aim to expand their solution to address IBS, a condition affecting millions in Spain and worldwide.

Lasting relief from IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a prevalent gastrointestinal disorder, affecting more than 10% of the general population worldwide.[1] Its prevalence is 1.5 to 3 times higher in women than in men,[2] and significantly impacts patients’ quality of life, manifesting with abdominal pain and bloating and episodes of constipation, diarrhea, or both.

Current treatments for IBS offer limited relief but do not guarantee definitive and lasting solutions. However, preclinical and clinical research has revealed promising potential for the development of new therapeutic targets directed at the gut-brain axis, not only for functional gastrointestinal disorders but also for a wide range of psychological and neurological conditions, prompting MOWOOT’s innovative approach.

By stimulating intestinal cells non-invasively, MOWOOT’s device restores healthy motility, potentially revolutionising IBS treatment. The direct physical stimulation of the mechanosensory cells and circuits involved in the digestion process has the potential to correct colonic motility dysregulation, secretion, and visceral hypersensitivity. This stimulation acts as a “pacemaker” that restores correct patterns and serotonin secretion, interacting physically with the gut-brain axis and intestinal microbiota.

Equipped with sensor technology and AI, the device will monitor and adjust treatment in real time, enhancing patient outcomes and helping healthcare professionals.

How EIT Health has helped MOWOOT

EIT Health has supported MOWOOT since the beginning. The founders met in the Moebio d-HEALTH Barcelona programme, a European programme to train future entrepreneurs and innovators in the health sector promoted by EIT Health Partner Biocat, and inspired by Stanford University’s biodesign methodology.

After this experience, the founders identified an unmet clinical need and created the company and the MOWOOT device. From this point on, the start-up has participated in several EIT Health programmes: Headstart, EIT Health Catapult, Mentoring and Coaching Network, Living Labs & Test Beds, Investor Network, and also received support from the Start-up Rescue Instrument during the Covid-19 pandemic. To scale their solution to new European markets, they joined several editions of Bridgehead programmes, Global and Europe, the last one in 2022.

Markus Wilhelms PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of MOWOOT, said: “EIT Health´s support has been essential for the success of our company, especially during the development and initial go-to market of our first medical device for the treatment of neurogenic bowel disorders (NBD), supporting the company financially when business development and access to hospitals was slowed down by the COVID pandemic, and offering an international network for business landing activities within the Bridgehead programme after the pandemic.”

Future plans

According to Markus, while MOWOOT are very happy to have the funding and support to develop a new product, the novel solution to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and an AI supported cloud platform for their product portfolio, their main current focus is still on growing the market for their first product.

MOWOOT’s upcoming plans involve putting their short/mid-term focus on achieving public healthcare reimbursement in the UK, Europe´s second biggest medical device market, which is expected in 2025. To secure this important milestone the company is currently raising a bridge-financing round on the Capital Cell crowdfunding platform. Once public healthcare reimbursement in the UK is achieved, the company valuation will increase importantly, and they will be very close to a possible exit scenario for their investors.

Discover EIT Health’s diverse programmes designed to help your start-up grow.

[1] Oka et al. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Oct;5(10):908-917.

[2] Quigley et al. Digestive and Liver Disease, 2006 38(10), 717–723

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