17th July 2019
Created by doctors who work on the front line, Renephra provides an innovative treatment for those suffering from chronic fluid overload, including Lymphoedema – a condition which affects 200 thousand people across the UK. Renephra is now a step closer to improving the lives of patients with this debilitating medical condition after closing a six-figure investment through NorthInvest. 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.
Renephra came to NorthInvest via a conversation with Catapult Ventures and the GM&C Life Sciences fund who had already provided funding and were looking to bring on additional investors to close the round.
Dawidaska’s knowledge, progress and plan, as well as the straightforward nature of Renephra’s solution and its broad application potential, secured Renephra’s inclusion in our March cohort email to investors and presented at our very first NorthInvest pitch event in May 2018.
Dawidaska 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.
The money raised from NorthInvest is a cornerstone investment for the project and, alongside the British Heart Foundation grant awarded to the University of Manchester and Manchester University Foundation Trust, this gave the funding a momentum that saw Renephra completing their funding round in only a few months.
What problem is Renephra solving?
Managing Director of Renephra, Idalia Dawidaska, explains:“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.
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.
What was the funding used for?
“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.”
The funding will also be used to progress Renephra’s journey to CE certification – the authorisation needed to begin bringing the solution to market.
Six NorthInvest angel investors co-funded the project, including Sarah Jones, who began her career as a surgeon within the NHS.
“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.”
Duncan Firman and solicitor Stephanie Houghton of Yorkshire law firm Gordons LLP offered legal support to the group of angels.
Firman 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.”
Previous Renephra investors also 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.