Galway’s SymPhysis Medical raises €1.5m for ground-breaking device for late-stage cancer patients.
SymPhysis Medical has received €1.5m in funding and is seeking an additional €4.5m-plus early next year to support the continued development of its breakthrough medical device, FDA approval and the creation of new jobs.
The Galway business is developing a device that enables late-stage cancer patients to manage a very distressing condition by themselves.
“With half of late-stage cancer patients experiencing fluid on the chest, we know that our device will have a profound, global impact on patients and their loved ones at the most difficult time”
Its device addresses a condition called ‘fluid in the chest’ and crucially, it can give patients time away from the hospital so that they can spend it with loved ones.
SymPhysis Medical was co-founded by CEO, Tim Jones, and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Michelle Tierney. The company is developing a drainage device, called ‘releaze’, for individuals with fluid in the chest, a condition which can significantly compromise the quality of life for 50% of people with late-stage cancer.
Currently, patients must rely on a nurse or family carer for assistance with draining when they go home. SymPhysis Medical’s device will empower patients to manage their condition independently at home, providing a sense of dignity and time away from the hospital, so they can spend it with loved ones.
Quality research delivers strong business outcomes
In the last two years, SymPhysis Medical has grown from a team of three to 13, with a strong focus on building its quality and research and development teams. It has also invested in an expanded office space to accommodate its growing team.
SymPhysis Medical will use its latest funding – which follows €1.9m investment raised two years ago – to grow its team, continue the development of its device and achieve regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. SymPhysis Medical will continue to fundraise for an additional €4.5m-plus in early 2024 to further support these activities, along with the expansion of its team in Galway and the US. New hires will be in the areas of research and development, product engineering and commercialisation.
“This funding comes at an exciting time for our company as we continue to expand our team and office footprint,” said Tim Jones, CEO of SymPhysis.
“We are now in the fine-tuning phase of our product development. The funding, along with the ongoing support we have received from Enterprise Ireland, will bring us to our initial goal of getting regulatory clearance in the US – and our ultimate goal of reaching the unmet needs of cancer patients worldwide. With half of late-stage cancer patients experiencing fluid on the chest, we know that our device will have a profound, global impact on patients and their loved ones at the most difficult time.
“From the outset, our focus has been on making this a device for patients, led by patients. Working with patients with life-limiting cancer and their loved ones has provided us with vital insights, which would have been missed if we were solely within a lab setting. These communities are end-user experience subject matter experts and our product is better because of them.”
The investment comes on the back of a series of successes this year for the SymPhysis Medical team. Earlier this month, the company won the ‘MedTech Collaboration Award’ at the Irish MedTech Awards for its partnership with the world-renowned UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA). The company also won the Excellence in Innovation award at the inaugural Life Science Industry Awards held earlier in the year.
“Symphysis Medical has shown unwavering commitment to improving devices used for the drainage of fluid from the patient’s chest,” said Dr David Breen, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Lead Clinician for Lung Cancer Services, Galway University Hospital.
“I have been involved with the founders since their very early days in BioInnovate, and have watched the development of their technology from the initial needs assessment to the design stage and now to the end product development.
“The company has maintained a unique connection with both physicians and patients and has listened to their needs throughout. I believe that they have developed a product which will significantly enhance the patient experience and provide improved clinical outcomes. This will ensure greater independence for patients and reduce their dependence on hospital care. It will allow better control and management of their symptoms related to fluid on the chest and, in turn, result in a better quality of life for patients during the end-of-life journey.”
Main image at top: Dr Michelle Tierney, co-founder and chief scientific officer, SymPhysis Medical; David Breen, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Lead Clinician for Lung Cancer Services, Galway University Hospital; and Tim Jones, co-founder and CEO, SymPhysis Medical