Signum Surgical, a company dedicated to developing minimally invasive technologies to treat colorectal diseases, today announced the company has secured €3.6 million ($4 million) through two grant funding awards. The grants include €2.3 million from the European Union Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, and €1.3 million from Ireland’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF). Funds from these grants will support regulatory and clinical programs leading to the commercialization of the company’s BioHealxTM device, which is designed to treat anal fistula, a painful colorectal condition that affects one in 5,000 people worldwide.
In the United States, a total of 64,000 surgeries are performed annually to treat anal fistula. Current treatments are rarely successful, leaving patients to suffer with ongoing infections and causing many to undergo multiple procedures. The BioHealx technology features a bioabsorbable implant that is designed to help seal the fistula tract and dissolve in the body after treatment. The minimally invasive, single-operation approach is designed to encourage healing, prevent reinfection, and protect patient continence. Requiring only an outpatient procedure, the BioHealx technology may eliminate the need for multiple surgeries and substantially reduce surgical trauma and healing time for patients with anal fistulas, while reducing cost for patients and the health care system as a whole.
The Horizon 2020 and DTIF grant funding will support Signum Surgical’s FDA 510(k) and European CE mark submission, as well as the launch of a 12-month clinical study of BioHealx technology to treat patients with anal fistula. These grants follow a €2.6 million Series A investment round, which closed in 2016. The Series A round was led by Halo Business Angel Network’s MedTech Syndicate, with additional investments from Enterprise Ireland, the Western Development Commission, Rising Tide Europe, and other angel investors.
“We are delighted to be awarded both the DTIF and Horizon 2020 SME grants, which validate the need for a viable solution where other approaches have been unsuccessful in treating this patient population,” said Eoin Bambury, co-founder and chief technology officer of Signum Surgical. “With this funding, we look forward to accelerating the commercialization of BioHealx technology to help alleviate the suffering of people with anal fistulas – a debilitating condition that severely affects patients’ quality of life.”
“Signum Surgical is a great example of a High Potential Start-Up that has not only won competitive funding on a national basis in Ireland, but has also secured funding at the European level through the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument,” said Garrett Murray, national director for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland. “Ireland’s highly innovative SMEs have a strong success rate in Europe for the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, and we are looking to continue to build on this success throughout the remainder of Horizon 2020. Enterprise Ireland advises and supports companies looking to compete for this valuable source of innovation funding to bring their products closer to market.”
You can read more about the original investment received by the company here. At that time, Declan Quinn, lead angel for the HBAN MedTech Syndicate, said: “In start-ups like this, one of the key investment factors is your belief in the founders’ ability to transform their idea into something tangible with real commercial value. They are creating a solution to a clearly unmet clinical need in a decent-sized market, so from a commercial standpoint Signum Surgical is very attractive.
“One of the great things about getting investment from the MedTech Syndicate is the depth of Medical Device industry knowledge that resides there. Between us, we share hundreds of years of collective experience in designing, developing, manufacturing, and commercialising medical devices. Eoin and Moshe now have access to that pool of knowledge plus the extensive networks that the syndicate is connected into. Investment funding aside, these are powerful assets for any new venture to have at their disposal.”
John Phelan, National Director, HBAN, said: “Through the MedTech Syndicate, HBAN hopes to support the burgeoning medical devices market in the West of Ireland. By investing in innovative medtech companies like Signum Surgical, the MedTech Syndicate is growing Galway and Ireland’s position on the world map as a centre of excellence for medtech start-ups.
The HBAN MedTech Syndicate meet four times a year in Galway and HBAN is currently on the look-out for more business angels to invest in high-potential start-ups like Signum Surgical. Click here to join Ireland’s largest network for business angels or for more information call us on 0 1 474 8216.