An innovative treatment for those suffering from the effects of a debilitating medical condition is now a step closer after a significant investment from NorthInvest.
Created by doctors who work on the front line, the technology developed by Renephra helps patients dealing with chronic fluid overload including Lymphoedema – a condition which affects 200 thousand people across the UK.
The treatment aims to improve a patient’s quality of life, allowing them to spend more time with friends, family and loved ones. Treatment which would normally take place in a hospital setting will now be able to be administered at home.
The money raised from NorthInvest is a cornerstone investment for this project and alongside the British Heart Foundation grant awarded to the University of Manchester and Manchester University Foundation Trust this gives the funding a momentum that should see Renephra completing the round in the next few months.
Renephra MD Idalia Dawidaska explained, “Current treatments for these conditions require frequent hospitalisations for intravenous treatment with high doses of diuretics which is not only inconvenient for patients and associated with a risk of kidney injury but also costly. We offer a gentler, safer solution that can be delivered at home, offering patients better quality of life and reducing hospital admissions and costs to healthcare providers.
This round of funding enables Renephra to carry out pilot clinical studies to demonstrate a viable success rate in target patients and to understand factors related to success. This is an essential next step for the company in advancing this much needed and promising technology through to regulatory approvals and making it available to clinicians and patients.”
Renephra came to NorthInvest via a conversation with Catapult Ventures and the GM&C Life Sciences fund who had recently provided funding to the company and were looking to bring on additional investors to close the round.
They were impressed with Idalia’s knowledge, progress and plan as well as being further taken with the straightforward nature of Renephra’s solution and its broad application potential in addition to its present use case target. Renephra was subsequently included in the March cohort and presented a the first NorthInvest pitch event in May.
Idalia became the stand-out pitch of the event receiving interest from six angels who came together following the event to discuss the proposition in more detail. This included several former medical doctors who helped the group to address certain technical questions and understand application opportunities for those with non-medical backgrounds. Eventually a group of eight NorthInvest investors agreed to provide funding totalling six figures.
Professor Adam Beaumont, Founder of NorthInvest commented: “Renephra are enabling innovative critical care which can not only ease suffering and improve the quality of life of those suffering from oedema, but possibly also has much wider applications.”
Angel Investor at NorthInvest Sarah Jones added, “Renephra are creating a product with could have a huge clinical impact – both on patient quality of life and scare heath service resources. Investing in the business is a very exciting opportunity and I am grateful to NorthInvest for making it possible. I wish Renephra huge success and it is a privilege to think that we can make a meaningful contribution to their ground-breaking work.”
The angel investors were assisted by partner Duncan Firman and solicitor Stephanie Houghton of Yorkshire law firm Gordons.
Duncan said: “This is an exciting time to be assisting tech businesses and investors in the North. Our strategic partnership with NorthInvest is moving at pace – we announced our partnership in September and have already completed our first deal. Connecting tech businesses and investors plays to our strengths as a law firm and we will keep using our distinct approach to assist on more deals in future.”
The investment will go towards funding the third clinical trial of the technology as well as progressing its journey to CE certification, the authorisation needed to begin bringing the Renephra solution to the market.
The goal is to provide a safe, gentle, and simple medical device for patients to use as home.
The Renephra team envisage that the device will be applied daily by a district or heart failure nurse who visits these patients during exacerbations of their condition. It is planned that the patient will be able to remove the device at the end of therapy and change the canister if it gets full during treatment. However, due to the simplicity of application and removal, it is envisaged that the therapy could be entirely patient administered for some sufferers.
NorthInvest is dedicated to building a stronger and more connected tech investor and start-up community across the North of England. We see early stage funding as fundamental to this and have created a not-for-profit, socially aware organisation which connects investors to tech founders spanning many different areas of expertise.
Current and previous Renephra investors include Deepbridge Capital, Catapult Ventures, GM&C Life Sciences Fund, MTI Ventures, SPARK Impact, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, The University of Manchester, and individuals.
Image attached. Pictured (l-r) Stephanie Houghton (Gordons LLP), Idalia Dawidowska (Renephra), Will Schaffer (NorthInvest, now Mercia), Helen Oldham (NorthInvest)
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