Local med device company Marvao secures major investment

Enterprise Equity partner Eric Reed and Chris Davey, managing director of Marvao Medical, at the company headquarters in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes

Enterprise Equity partner Eric Reed and Chris Davey, managing director of Marvao Medical, at the company headquarters in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes

Marvao Medical Devices, an early stage Irish medical device company base din Galway and focused on commercializing new products that reduce the risk of catheter related infections, has secured investment of €1.3 million in a funding round led by the AIB Seed Capital Fund along with earlier private investors including Harmac Medical Products and the Western Development Commission.

Marvao Medical will use these funds to carry out a clinical investigation of its new NexSite catheter product in an oncology patient population who require intra-venous chemotherapy, and to develop additional NexSite catheter products for the benefit of other patient populations. Catheters equipped with NexSite technology enable the patient’s skin to fully heal into the device, a unique advantage over conventional catheters because it prevents pathogens from entering the body though the skin. In addition to its expected safety benefits, NexSite catheter products should simplify catheter maintenance and result in significantly reduced healthcare cost.

Chris Davey, Managing Director of Marvao Medical, said: “This latest funding demonstrates the high level of commitment from our early investors, and the ability of the NexSite technology to attract new investors as the technology matures”. He added that “We’re now ready to start our first clinical study of the NexSite platform, which builds on our pre-clinical success and will position the company to begin generating revenue at the end of 2011”.

Marvao Medical has been based at the Innovation in Business Centre on the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology campus since January 2009, and was supported at the start up stage by investments from Enterprise Ireland and the Western Development Commission, with added funding from private investors. Marvao Medical has partnered with Harmac Medical Products (Castlerea, Roscommon ) to manufacture NexSite catheters, and is engaged in ongoing discussions with several multinational healthcare companies to either distribute these products, or to license the NexSite technology for addition onto their own proprietary catheters.

This latest funding round will see Enterprise Equity partner Eric Reed joining the company’s board of directors. “Marvao Medical is another excellent example of a highly innovative early stage company that has significant growth opportunity” said Reed. “The products being developed could significantly improve the current standard of care for chronically ill patients, and we believe that Marvao is well positioned to gain market share internationally for its products.”

Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager with Western Development Commission stated that the funding round is not only an endorsement of the company but of the West of Ireland as a significant location for indigenous medical device companies.

Mick McEnroe, Managing Director of Harmac Medical Products stated that Harmac are delighted to be involved in supporting the development and manufacturing of the Marvao range of products. Harmac have operations in Ireland, USA and Mexico and provide a full range of development and manufacturing services to high potential start-ups and a multitude of Fortune 500 companies.

Denis Marnane, Chairman of AIB Seed Capital Fund, added that “The AIB Seed Capital Fund is delighted to invest in this exciting young business. AIBSCF is continuing to play a very important role in supporting companies throughout Ireland who require seed and early stage funding.”

Established in 2007, the €53 million AIB Seed Capital Fund invests amounts of up to €1.5 million in high growth start-ups and early stage companies. It has particular focus on the sectors of technology, multimedia, wireless, food and medical devices. To date it has invested in several high- potential start ups including Movidius, Cambus and Nortev. The fund’s limited partners are AIB Bank and Enterprise Ireland.

The Western Development Commission manages the Western Investment Fund which provides seed and venture capital in the seven western counties of Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. To date it has invested in 89 enterprises of which 18 are in the medical device sector, making it one of the largest investors in this sector.


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