Japanese giant Nipro Corporation leads investment in Galway’s Venari Medical to advance ground-breaking treatment for venous disease, a $2bn market opportunity.

Galway medtech Venari Medical has raised €4.5m ($5.3m) in seed equity funding  to accelerate the development of its ground-breaking BioVena device.

The investment round into Venari was led by Nipro Corporation, a world-leading medical product manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan.

“We believe that widespread adoption of the BioVena device has significant cost saving potential for healthcare systems”

The Western Development Commission and Enterprise Ireland also contributed to the investment, in addition to international medical device experts and vascular surgeons.

Chronic venous disease (CVD) affects up to 30pc of adults across the globe resulting in a significant deterioration in quality of life for sufferers, especially those with advanced skin breakdown known as venous leg ulcers.

“This seed investment accelerates a huge opportunity to improve the quality of life of sufferers of chronic venous disease (CVD) across the globe,” said CEO and co-founder of Venari Stephen Cox.

“This funding enables the clinical validation of our BioVena medical device, which we are confident will offer patients a less invasive and highly effective office-based treatment that is also an intuitive procedure for physicians treating CVD. We believe that widespread adoption of the BioVena device has significant cost saving potential for healthcare systems.”

$2bn market opportunity

The market opportunity of CVD treatment is over $2bn annually in the US and EU. Recent high-quality clinical evidence, supporting the benefits of acute intervention to improve overall healing of venous leg ulcers, has the potential to add over $1.5bn to this opportunity. CVD management places a huge burden on healthcare systems amounting to $33bn (€28bn) per year in the US and EU alone, representing 2.5pc of total healthcare expenditure.

“We are very excited to invest in Venari Medical,” said Toshiaki Masuda, managing director of Nipro Corporation. “Their focus on Chronic Venous Disease is an area of great patient need due to its high prevalence internationally and significant impact on quality of life.

“This less invasive solution under development will offer physicians an entirely new treatment option for all CVD patients. The Venari Medical team have impressed us greatly with this cutting-edge approach to venous disease treatment, from their novel pre-clinical research in vein biology, to collaborations with internationally recognised experts in venous disease treatment.”

The news was welcomed by Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO, Western Development Commission who said Venari’s technology will improve the lives of a huge number of people. “And that has been the primary focus of Stephen Cox and the team at Venari since the outset. Equally, however, this investment, underlines the importance of supporting innovation driven enterprises, building on the success of the existing medtech ecosystem in Ireland’s western region”

The investment was also welcomed by Enterprise Ireland which has been supportive of the Galway company

“This significant investment is as a result of Venari co-founders Stephen, Sean and Nigel’s commitment to strengthening treatment practices in healthcare and will allow them to transition to the next stage in business for Venari,” said Jennifer Melia, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Ups Division,

“As BioInnovate Ireland fellows, the Venari team are an example of how this collaborative programme funded by Enterprise Ireland is connecting experts and producing the next generation of healthcare entrepreneurs focused on improving lives. Their break-through, innovative BioVena™ device has not just the potential to transform lives the world over but to also reduce cost for healthcare systems treating chronic venous disease.

“Venari has been on Enterprise Ireland’s radar since it was first established and was one of 10 ambitious start-ups chosen to exhibit at Enterprise Ireland Big Ideas showcase last year having previously availed of the Commercialisation Fund. We are so pleased to support its development as the business set their sights on new global markets and we are excited to see what is next,” Melia said.

Pictured at top: Sean Commins, Stephen Cox and Nigel Phelan. Image: Martina Regan

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 28 October, 2020

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