Galway-based medtech startup EnteraSense has achieved a double milestone, raising €1 million in a Seed round as well as securing €2.5 million through one of the latest European Union Horizon 2020 grants.

The combined €3.5 million will be used to help commercialise EnteraSense’s technology, build the team to nine members, and further the field of diagnostics.

Founded by serial entrepreneur and CEO, Donal Devery, EnteraSense has developed a capsule that can detect bleeding in the gastrointestional tract. Post surgical patients who are at risk of further bleeding can have the capsule attached to their stomach to monitor and detect bleeding and thus ensure they get appropriate and quick treatment if needed. To complement this, patients who present in ER and have suspected GI bleeding can swallow the capsule for a quick and easy diagnosis. This will mitigate unnecessary endoscopies which are invasive and in a lot of circumstances unnecessary.

Devery, along with EnteraSense MD, Daragh Sharkey and Programme Manager Chiara Di Carlo, has licenced the groundbreaking technology from Harvard University in Boston. The NDRC-backed company has successfully run initial trials to prove and validate the capsule. EnteraSense will move towards ‘First in Human’ studies by Q3 2019 and hope to be commercial with FDA and CE approval by mid 2020.

The two-year, H2020 EIC-FTI project grant – itself valued at €3.55m – is spread across four parties, with EnteraSense leading the research. Anecto, also based in Galway, Steripack (Poland) and a hospital in the Czech Republic are the other members of the project and will add significant expertise and value to the overall project aim of launching the product for patient use by mid 2020.

Each of these parties have specific and quantified deliverables with the overall goal of commercialising EnteraSense’s technology, and this grant significantly accelerates this process.

NDRC invested in EnteraSense in 2016, providing an integrated offering of knowledge, experience, expertise and a modest amount of capital to help EnteraSense attract follow-on investment. This initial funding validated the project and allowed EnteraSense to leverage the reputation of NDRC to attract further investment from valued shareholders.

EnteraSense’s current investor base includes physicians from the USA, a private equity fund based in Ireland, a Dubai based strategic investor and local Galway business people.

Donal Devery, founder of EnteraSense: “We want to improve patient outcomes and drive cost down for the health system. Each process and function within the deliverables associated with the grant will help us achieve this goal.

“The fact that physicians are among our investors shows just how exciting EnteraSense’s product is. The EU’s backing only underlines that.”

Daragh Sharkey, MD, EnteraSense: “The most important aspect of this grant is that the European Union has independently validated our project. EnteraSense ranked 4th out of 200+ entries and this shows the potential and value of the project.

“We are lucky to have such a strong and visionary team behind this project and now it is complimented by very focused and committed partners who believe in our vision and technology. This is further re-in forced by the early stage investors who we have on board.”

Dr Matt Ben, Gastrointestinal Physician New York, investor in EnteraSense: “As a GastroIntestinal physician, I could immediately see the potential of this unique technology. Upper GastroIntestinal bleeding has a high mortality rate and can cause serious problems for patients and a solution to mitigate this is very welcome.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

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