Business Irish

Friday 25 May 2018

Irish medtech startup secures €1.5m to develop child-friendly kidney reflux test

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

An Irish startup has created a solution to help reduce suffering for children during kidney reflux diagnosis.

Galway-based medtech firm Kite Medical has secured €1.5m to continue to develop its pain-free, non-invasive test.

The current diagnostic test can be traumatic for a young child as it requires a catheter, forced filling of the bladder and radiation exposure.

Kite Medical's novel device is wearable, with sensors, to detect for possible reflux over normal urination cycles.

Founder Sarah Loughney said she was driven to create the device after spending time with her co-founder and paediatric surgeon, Prof. Prem Puri, observing the existing procedure.

"I felt that there had to be a better solution and developing a child-friendly alternate has become my passion," she said.

Paul Frehill, Chief Technology Officer of Kite Medical; Sarah Loughney, Founder of Kite Medical and Joan Fitzpatrick, CEO of Kite Medical. Pic: William Flood.
Paul Frehill, Chief Technology Officer of Kite Medical; Sarah Loughney, Founder of Kite Medical and Joan Fitzpatrick, CEO of Kite Medical. Pic: William Flood.

The investment, both private and from Enterprise Ireland, is set to be used to expand the team and advance the development of the device.

Transferring the detection of kidney reflux from the hospital to an office-based primary care setting or home is a "game-changer" for the market.

"The company is progressing with developing a medical device that will significantly improve the process of kidney reflux screening for children and their parents all over the world," Joe Healy, Manager, High Potential Start-Up Division, Enterprise Ireland said.

It is expected that a pilot trial will be conducted in children later this year.

Kite Medical is a spin-out of the NUI Galway BioInnovate program.

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