Promising medical start-ups get $4.5 million boost from NSW Medical Devices Fund

Two Sydney-based medical start-ups have secured $4.5 million in funding from the NSW government in the first round of funding announced by the state’s Medical Devices Fund.


Elastagen, a clinical stage medical device company for wound repair, received $2 million, while Endoluminal Sciences, which is developing a leak-free replacement valve technology for heart surgery patients, received $2.5 million.


Both companies are part of start-up accelerator ATP Innovation’s Ignition Labs 2013 program.


Ben Wright, co-founder of Ignition Labs and director of commercialisation at ATP Innovations, told StartupSmart the funding had gone to late-stage companies who were sure bets.


“They’re backing winners basically, who are going to make a big social impact and fully capable of taking these ideas all the way to market,” he says.


Wright says the money will enable the two companies to conduct further clinical trials so they can take their products to market.


“They backed businesses that were well on their way already. They are going to market, and that’s the take home here,” Wright says. “These companies’ to-market timelines have certainly shifted thanks to this money.”


Health and Medical Research Minister Jillian Skinner says in a statement the grants would allow recipient companies to bring innovative medical technologies to market, delivering hope for people with a range of medical ailments, from heart valve failure to chronic pain.


Wright says there is every chance the next round of government funding could go to earlier stage companies.


“There is every opportunity they could go for earlier stage businesses in round 2,” Wright says. “This is about building up capability in the NSW medical device sector and supporting these businesses all the way up to commercial launch.”


Applications to join the Ignition Labs program close on Sunday.


“We’re looking for scalable and repeatable business models, technical proof of concept with a real market need and driver,” Wright says. “We’ll consider everything from a health and fitness app to a Class 2 device, (a temporary implantable device such as Endoluminal Sciences).”


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