Edinburgh life sciences spin-out raises £2.8m for ‘life-saving’ dialysis trials

A University of Edinburgh spin-out has raised almost £2.8 million to prepare for clinical trials and commercialisation of its “potentially life-saving” technology.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 15:38 pm
From left: Invizius team Eliza Makou, Andy Herbert, Richard Boyd and Magnus Nicolson. Picture: Contributed

Invizius, which has developed technology to help reduce the high death rate among patients using dialysis and other extra-corporeal treatments, secured the seven-figure sum from a consortium led by asset manager Mercia.

The funding boost will support pre-clinical testing and manufacturing of the medtech’s product, and help it prepare to enter clinical trials. It plans to hold a further funding round within 18 months.

The spin-out believes its technology, which stems from research by co-founder and chief technology officer Andy Herbert, can reduce the “huge” death toll from cardiovascular disease among long-term dialysis patients.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death for dialysis patients, with around half dying from cardiovascular complications.

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The body’s immune system naturally creates inflammation that damages the cardiovascular system in response to a patient’s dialysis filter, which it views as a foreign object. Invizius’ H-Guard product can be used as an anti-inflammatory to coat the filter surface and “hide” it, preventing an immune response.

The technology can also be used in conjunction with devices such as heart and lung machines, stents and grafts or in organ and cell transplants.

'Improvement to three million lives'

Richard Boyd, co-founder and chief executive of Invizius, said: “Our goal is to bring much-needed improvement to the lives of three million dialysis patients.

“This investment allows us to take a big step towards this, and we are delighted to have won the backing of a consortium of smart, well-funded investors.”

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Invizius is supported by Edinburgh Innovations (EI), University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, which has also helped to develop the partnership between Mercia and the university, and manages Old College Capital.

EI chief executive George Baxter said the investment “reflects the great promise we’ve seen in Invizius from the initial identification of novel science”.

The medtech has received early-stage funding from Scottish Enterprise’s High-Growth Spinout Programme, with the agency now following on with SIB investment.

SIB director Kerry Sharp said: “Invizius has built a reputation, both domestically and internationally, as one of the world’s most promising medtech companies in a very short space of time.

“The investment the company has attracted is testament to the momentum gained in developing its potentially life-saving technology.”