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Ireland-UK, EIT Health Ireland-UK

Six Irish start-ups transforming cardiovascular care

29th September 2022

To mark World Heart Day, EIT Health Ireland-UK recognises the achievements of six Ireland-based start-ups working to optimise cardiovascular treatment. Each has previously participated on an EIT Health programme, since the organisation’s inception in 2015.

Launched by the World Heart Federation, ‘World Heart Day’ is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 18.6 million[1] lives each year. The campaign highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.

With CVD accounting for an estimated 32% of deaths worldwide[2] and 37 percent of deaths in the European Union annually[3], EIT Health is committed to helping start-ups developing cutting-edge solutions for CVD navigate the complex path to European market access and investment. This will ultimately benefit patients and physicians in Europe, making our healthcare systems more sustainable and alleviating burdensome costs.

To date, EIT Health has supported almost 1,700 health start-ups (90 in Ireland) from across Europe accelerate their ideas into new markets, via pan-European training, public and private financing, and mentorship programmes. Their novel innovations have gone on to reach millions of patients and citizens.

From implants to catheters, here is a snapshot of six Ireland-based EIT Health supported start-ups developing pioneering breakthrough technologies in the fight to combat CVD:

  1. AuriGen Medical

AuriGen Medical is developing a novel smart implant therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF). The company was awarded EIT Health Headstart funding in 2017. AuriGen’s minimally invasive technology will be the first platform to reduce the greatest risks associated with AF, namely arrhythmia, heart failure, and stroke in a single procedure.

2. CapBuster

CapBuster is a revolutionary medical device designed to penetrate completely blocked arteries, by incorporating engineering intelligence at a nano level in angioplasty. It comprises a guidewire and balloon catheter combination device, with the addition of unique patented screw-thread technology.

3. CroíValve

CroíValve is a medtech start-up that provides a minimally invasive treatment for tricuspid regurgitation (TR), a condition affecting over half a million patients every year in Europe and the US. CroíValve was founded in 2016 and is a spin-out from EIT Health partner Trinity College Dublin. It has created a minimally invasive device that replaces and repairs the heart’s tricuspid valve, without the need for surgery. CroiValve secured €9M in Series A earlier this year.

4. InVera Medical

InVera Medical was founded by Stephen Cox, Nigel Phelan and Sean Cummins during the EIT Health-supported BioInnovate Fellowship programme at the University of Galway in 2017. InVera is the world’s first effective non-thermal medical device to treat varicose veins and venous ulcers, without harmful side effects. Chronic venous disease, which is a CVD risk factor, affects one in four adults globally. Unfortunately, 12 million people suffer from chronic open wounds advanced symptoms that don’t heal known as venous leg ulcers which destroy quality of life across Europe and the US. InVera™ uses the body’s natural healing response to treat symptoms allowing all chronic venous disease sufferers receive treatment for the first time.

5. Lifelet Medical

Another Galway-based trailblazer, Lifelet Medical, is developing a novel polymer heart valve replacement, free from animal tissue, for patients suffering from heart valve disease. The technology aims to improve clinical outcomes and increase valve durability, while reducing the cost and carbon footprint of valve manufacturing today. The Lifelet Medical team has previously taken part in EIT Health’s Mentoring and Coaching Networkbootcamps, and were winners of the EIT Health 2020 Validation Lab.

6. OneProjects

OneProjects is revolutionising the treatment of cardiac arrythmias and structural heart diseases having developed the VERAFEYE™ full suite imaging platform. By generating live 360-degree cardiac imaging in high-resolution of the beating heart, physicians can carry out real-time precision navigation, tracking and tissue analysis. Founders Fionn Lahart & Christoph Hennersperger have been nominated in this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year Ireland awards in the Emerging category.

Find out more about EIT Health’s programmes or contact us on clc.ireland-uk@eithealth.eu to learn how your start-up or SME can avail of similar supports to the companies listed above.

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