Local medical device developer secures additional €2m in funding

John O’Dea, CEO, Crospon

John O’Dea, CEO, Crospon

Local medical device developer Crospon has reason to celebrate on the double with the news that it has secured an additional €2 million in funding and that its flagship gastroenterology product has received clearance from the US Food and Drugs Administration.

The Galway based company, which was set up in 2006, develops leading edge minimally invasive medical devices for monitoring, diagnosis and therapy in the gastroenterology area. This latest funding round includes continued investment from Enterprise Ireland and private investors as well as new investment from The Wellcome Trust in the UK. An independent charity funding research to improve human and animal health, it is the UK’s largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research. The Trust spends more than £600 million each year in the UK and internationally.

Commenting on the funding, John O’Dea, CEO, Crospon says the company is at a critical phase of its development, having recently established a US operation and launched its flagship EndoFLIP® product into the European market.

“Recognition and investment by The Wellcome Trust, after a rigorous review procedure, is a significant endorsement for Crospon and our EndoFLIP® system. This investment, coupled with the FDA clearance in the US, will enable Crospon to continue to develop the EndoFLIP® technology.

“A particular short term focus will be the development of products suited to measurements, which EndoFLIP® will enable, during bariatric surgery [weight loss surgery]. Looking forward, 2010 will also see the development of a broader range of measurement catheters, and the investigation of additional applications for EndoFLIP® in making measurements during interventional pulmonary and cardiology procedures.”

Obtaining FDA clearance for the EndoFLIP® device is another significant milestone in the product’s development, he says. This will allow the company to sell it in the US market. It will also assist it in continuing to build the clinical evidence base to support wider indications for use of the product, particularly in bariatric surgery. During 2009, Crospon announced the establishment of a US operation in Carlsbad, California.

The EndoFLIP® tool was designed by Crospon to provide a more physiologically relevant diagnostic test for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD ). Chronic GERD is a prevalent disorder reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. It manifests itself as severe heartburn caused by stomach acid refluxing into the oesophagus. Crospon’s development of the EndoFLIP® system was recognised with the 2009 European Gastroenterology Technology Implementation of the Year Award, the Overall Medical Technology Excellence Award and the Gold Award for Innovation, Research and Development at the Irish Medical Device Association Awards.

In 2008, Crospon announced that it had completed an additional funding round of €3.5m. This funding was primarily used for the completion of development, manufacturing start-up and preparation to market the EndoFLIP® system.

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