Novartis to fund medtech startup's eye kit

CEO Don Bogue. Photo: John Harrington

John Reynolds

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has agreed a deal with Compact Imaging - UCD graduate Dr Josh Hogan's medtech startup - to fund the development of a low-cost home monitor to detect eye disease progression.

Goggles used at a patient's home will record a test result and upload it over the internet for a specialist to review, thereby reducing clinical visits, saving doctors' and patients' time while delivering cost and efficiency savings to healthcare systems.

Compact Imaging's CEO Don Bogue said that the principal development work will be done by its staff in Silicon Valley, while others in Galway and Limerick will work on other applications of the firm's "multiple reference optical coherence tomography", considered the world's fastest-growing medical imaging technology.

Mr Bogue declined to reveal what the development work might cost.

"The patient-focused goals of this collaboration complement Novartis's efforts to introduce new therapeutics for these conditions," said Dr Michael R Hee, the startup's chief medical officer.

Compact Imaging is backed by a number of Irish investors, including Tipperary entrepreneur John Ryan, as well as the Galway University Foundation and the University of Limerick Foundation, which have small stakes.

Last year, the startup partnered with a Stanford University spinout in a €10m ($12.5m) fingerprint-scanning technology development contract for IARPA, the R&D wing of US intelligence agencies.