Galway start-up Bluedrop Medical has secured €3.7M in funding for a medical device that aims to prevent amputations resulting from diabetic foot ulcers.

HBAN has announced that Bluedrop Medical, a Galway based medical device start-up, has secured €3.7M in funding to help manage one of the most devastating complications of diabetes – the diabetic foot.

An initial seed investment of €1.2M was led by HBAN’s MedTech Syndicate – which itself invested €340K in the seed round. Enterprise Ireland and the Western Development Commission also invested in the funding round along with other members of the investment community. A €2.5M grant was awarded through the European Innovation Council.

HBAN, the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment and a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland connected Bluedrop with angel investors. The investment will help Bluedrop Medical to continue developing a potentially life-changing product for people suffering from diabetes.

“Foot ulcers are one of the most devastating complications associated with diabetes”

In Ireland, more than 540 amputations are carried out every year on patients suffering with diabetes as a result of foot ulcers caused by nerve damage. Bluedrop Medical’s AI-powered temperature monitoring device will enable clinics to monitor their high-risk patients. Bluedrop’s co-founders believe the device could save the Irish health system €40M per annum on treatments associated with diabetic foot ulcers.

The device is used by the patient to perform a daily foot scan in their home in less than 30 seconds. Scans are reviewed remotely using advanced algorithms which reveal if the patient is showing signs of a developing foot ulcer, instructing them to contact their local clinic if necessary.

The funding will help founders, Chris Murphy and Simon Kiersey, continue to develop their device, carry out clinical trials and bring it to market in Europe and the US. This, they hope, will help to reduce the number of diabetes-related amputations worldwide.

“Our system could save the Irish health service €40M per year on treatments associated with diabetic foot ulcers”

The company will also use the funding to expand its team. In the next two years, Bluedrop Medical will hire ten people in the areas of software development, quality and regulatory affairs, clinical trial management and commercial strategy development.

Speaking about the investment, CEO Christ Murphy said, “We founded this company with the aim of improving outcomes and reducing the treatment costs associated with chronic disease. Foot ulcers are one of the most devastating complications associated with diabetes. They are expensive to treat and frequently result in amputation. Our system could save the Irish health service €40M per year on treatments associated with diabetic foot ulcers and we are hoping to collaborate with them to achieve this goal. We estimate the total worldwide market for our device to be more than €3 billion.

“We are delighted to be amongst the companies on the island of Ireland who are benefitting from HBAN angel investment. We have appointed one of the HBAN investors, Dr. Colin Henehan, to our board. He has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medtech industries, so his advice, along with the advice of the other angel investors in the network, will be instrumental as we forge ahead with Bluedrop Medical’s exciting next phase.”

“This device is all about prevention and removing the cost burden on governments and insurers”

Dr. Colin Henehan, who is a Bluedrop Medical board member and HBAN MedTech Syndicate member added, “When we started doing our due diligence on Bluedrop Medical, we were very impressed by the focus and drive of the team and the size of the market that they will be tapping into. Chris and Simon have developed a class leading device for early ulcer detection, resolving a huge unmet clinical need.

“If you look at medicine today, it is very treatment-focused. But this device is all about prevention and removing the cost burden on governments and insurers. Those costs are going to drive a sea change in how diseases are approached and increasingly, the emphasis will be on prevention.

“The MedTech Syndicate offers companies like Bluedrop Medical a network of highly experienced professionals who can provide advice and guidance on all aspects of developing a medical device through to product launch and, ultimately to acquisition.”

HBAN is currently on the look-out for more regionally based business angels to invest in high-potential start-ups like Bluedrop Medical. HBAN will host two upcoming information sessions in Castlebar on Wednesday 25th September and in Cork on Monday 14th October. For more information, visit www.hban.org.

Written by Stephen Larkin

Published 20 September, 2019

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