ProVerum Medical, a spin-off from Trinity College Dublin with a mission to improve the lives of millions of men, has closed a $4.2 million seed investment. Atlantic Bridge University Fund led the investment round with participation from Enterprise Ireland along with several Irish and American angel investors including HBAN Medtech Syndicate, Irrus Investments, Boole and Xenium Capital. The investment will allow ProVerum to commence its first human trials in 2018 and brings the company’s total funding since it was established in 2015 to €4.6 million.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate gland causing significant discomfort and affects more than 50 percent of men over 50 years of age. The standard of care involves invasive, difficult surgical procedures and medications, which are widely viewed as ineffective. Many patients are left waiting for symptoms to deteriorate before intervention can be justified.
Based in Trinity College’s Translational Medicine Institute at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, ProVerum was co-founded in 2015 by Dr Conor Harkin MD MBA and Dr Ríona Ní Ghriallais PhD Eng. It grew out of the BioInnovate Ireland Program, which is a global affiliate of the renowned Stanford BioDesign Program. Early financial support from Enterprise Ireland and EIT Health allowed the company to initially develop their original solution. ProVerum Medical’s solution is a nitinol implant that permanently dilates the prostatic urethra without interfering with normal prostate anatomy, thus alleviating symptoms and maintaining proper sexual function. It can be compressed to a tiny size for easy insertion during a 10-15 minute minimally invasive procedure that requires no surgical cutting or changes to the patient anatomy. The design promises to deliver excellent symptom relief with the simplest of procedures and little or no side effects.
“On behalf of Atlantic Bridge, I am pleased to welcome Proverum Medical to the University Fund portfolio. We believe the ProVerum team has developed a truly novel device that represents a disruptive approach to the treatment of BPH,” said Dr Helen McBreen, Investment Director Atlantic Bridge. “The robust research at the core of ProVerum’s invention is an impressive example of how companies can leverage the outputs of Irish R&D expertise to create unique solutions to global and complex clinical problems.”
The investment, managed by Nicky Deasy of Alta Corporate Finance, builds on an exceptional year for ProVerum Medical, which saw several international innovation award nominations and key executive appointments. Adrian Gilmore, an experienced healthcare executive who previously worked with Terumo, BD and Bayer, was appointed CEO in August, and Paul Gilson, a veteran of med-tech startups, joined as ProVerum’s Chairman. Additionally, ProVerum Medical added some of the world’s top urologists to its team of scientific advisors – Prof. Steve Kaplan of Mount Sinai New York and Prof. Thomas Lynch of St. James Hospital, Dublin.
“This is an enormous and very developed market seeking better solutions, as validated by investment firms and global medical device companies. Millions of patients continue to suffer from symptoms because current treatment options are not meeting their needs,” said Adrian Gilmore, President and CEO of ProVerum. “We believe the ProVerum solution will give patients exactly what they want and need by delivering safe permanent symptom relief with a quick, comfortable and very cost-effective procedure.”