Embo Medical, an early stage medical device company based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre and focused on developing technology to shut down blood flow in blood vessels, has secured €3 million in seed-funding.
The investment syndicate included the AIB Seed Capital Fund (managed by Enterprise Equity ), Irrus Investments, HBAN’s Medtech Business Angel Syndicate, Western Development Commission, Enterprise Ireland and the AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund (managed by ACT Venture Capital ). The investment will enable Embo Medical to secure regulatory approval and enter the market, and in doing so employ approximately 10 people directly and up to another 10 people indirectly.
In 2011, the management team of Wayne Allen, Colin Forde and Liam Mullins undertook the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship, a specialist medical device innovation programme. Upon completion, they founded Embo Medical to develop solutions to unmet clinical needs that were identified while observing embolization procedures in hospitals during the Fellowship.
Embolization is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to deliberately stop blood flow in blood vessels when treating cancers, internal haemorrhage, aneurysms, and venous disease. Current embolization procedures require multiple coils and plugs, which can be cumbersome and time consuming to insert and often do not provide an optimal clinical result.
Embo is developing the first true one-shot (one device per vessel ) vascular embolization device. The product is aimed at the peripheral vascular embolization market, a market where physicians perform about 180,000 procedures per year worldwide. The Embo platform technology is intended to provide a superior solution in shorter procedural times; resulting in safe, cost-effective embolization. In preclinical studies, Embo’s technology reduced blood vessel treatment time by over 80 per cent, while ensuring rapid and durable occlusion across all blood vessel sizes.
Embo CEO Wayne Allen said: “This investment will accelerate Embo’s development of a state-of-the-art solution for the treatment of several diseases, will further prove the product’s value through clinical studies and enable us to access the large US market. Our technology has the potential to become the standard of care while simultaneously reducing the cost of healthcare.”
Dr Mahmood K. Razavi, Interventional Radiologist and Director of Clinical Trials, St Joseph Heart and Vascular Centre, Orange, CA, USA, said: “The innovative Embo solution combines the desirable characteristics of coils and plugs into one device and represents a potential new gold standard in embolization. It is designed for safe and easy delivery, and rapid cessation of blood flow. The technology will be a clinically effective approach for patients requiring embolization.”
The company outsources manufacture, packaging and sterilisation to med-tech companies based primarily in the West of Ireland, accounting for the indirect employment of approximately 10 people. Embo expects to directly create 10 new jobs over the next two years as a result of this investment. This includes a series of both senior management and technical/functional hires over the coming months to fulfil the research and development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, marketing and finance functions of the company.