Galway medtech AuriGen raises €3m

AuriGen Medical crowdfunds almost €3m in three weeks – NUI Galway-based company aims to revolutionise heart disease management.

Galway-based medical devices business AuriGen Medical has raised close to €3m through a crowdfunding campaign in just three weeks.

The NUI Galway-based company has developed a heart implant designed to treat both the stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with atrial fibrillation. The minimally invasive implant aims to revolutionise the management ofms of chronic heart disease patients.

“Despite much focus and advancement on the treatment of chronic heart disease, it still kills more Europeans than cancer, crippling healthcare systems and costing the EU over €210bn every year”

The company launched a crowdfunding campaign with Spark Crowdfunding to help fund the clinical trials of its revolutionary heart implant. It raised €1.75m from institutional investors in Ireland, and sought an additional €750,000 through crowdfunding to facilitate clinical trials starting in 2023.

The Spark Crowdfunding campaign has already raised €2.98m from 232 investors, smashing its initial target.

Breakthrough medtech device

AuriGen Medical co-founder and CEO Dr John Thompson said current approaches to treat heart failure and atrial fibrillation – two of the world’s most common chronic cardiovascular diseases – require multiple expensive devices and procedures. 

“Despite much focus and advancement on the treatment of chronic heart disease, it still kills more Europeans than cancer, crippling healthcare systems and costing the EU over €210bn every year. Patients with chronic heart disease are at high risk of developing heart failure, atrial fibrillation, blood clots and stroke. Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (an arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke & heart failure.”

He said the elevated stroke risk can be managed by closing the left atrial appendage, a small pouch within the heart. The left atrial appendage is the source of 90% of atrial fibrillation blood clots, leading to very high stroke risk. 

“Devices exist to filter out these blood clots, reducing stroke risk. However, implantation of these devices is challenging because of sharp fixed barbs used to hold the device in the heart, which can tear the heart wall causing significant injury. The devices also offer no treatment for arrhythmia or heart failure, and no ability to monitor patients at home post procedure.”

To address these challenges, AuriGen Medical has created the first device to integrate stroke prevention, heart failure monitoring and arrhythmia management in a single 30-minute day case procedure.

AuriGen’s devices will include smart sensors which detect changes in the heart in real-time, resulting in earlier and more accurate data. This patient data is transferred live from their handheld receiver at home to the secure cloud which is instantly accessible by their doctor, helping them to intervene faster, preventing hospitalisations, while improving quality and length of life.

AuriGen aims to provide governments and private healthcare insurers with an alternative to the existing expensive multi-procedure therapies which are currently required to treat challenging heart failure/arrhythmia patients.

Spark Crowdfunding CEO Chris Burge said AuriGen’s cardiac implant devices address the significant unmet medical needs of patients with heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

“The AuriGen platform of technologies will elevate the current standard of care to new levels of safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness, and we are thrilled to be able to offer private investors and individuals the opportunity to be part of an exciting company. The minimum investment is just €100, and as an EIIS qualifying company, Irish investors are essentially accessing a Venture Capital quality investment at a 40% discount to the price paid by professional investors.”

AuriGen Medical is the only company to rank 1st in the two largest EU grant award programs.

These awards provided the company with €14m in non-dilutive funding. 

In 2018, AuriGen Medical ranked first out of 1,280 companies that received funding through the prestigious EU Horizon 2020 funding programme for SMEs, and in 2019 AuriGen ranked first out of 138 companies for the same programme for the EU FTI instrument.

“We are uniquely the only company in Europe to ever achieve these two ‘firsts’, from thousands of companies across all sectors,” AuriGen Medical co-founder Siora Maclean said.

“We have recently raised €1.75m from institutional investors and we are now exclusively inviting Spark Crowdfunding members the opportunity to invest on the exact same terms, but with the added benefit of a 40% tax rebate through the EIIS scheme,” Maclean added.

Main image at top: Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, TD, and Tony O’Halloran, CTO of AuriGen Medical

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.