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UCD startup raises €40m for heart monitor

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A medical technology startup has raised €40m to design and build a product that helps people with heart failure.

The cash, which ranks as one of the highest private funding rounds in recent years, will support a "novel remote-monitoring solution to improve outcomes for heart failure", according to a statement from Fire 1.

Fire 1, which was started by the American entrepreneur Mark Deem, landed the money from a number of international venture capital firms and the Irish medtech company Medtronic.

It's the third funding round that Fire 1 has landed since its beginning in 2013 and brings to almost €50m the amount of money raised.

The company operates out of Nexus UCD, an office facility at the Dublin university for companies that want close access to student research and graduate recruitment.

In 2016, Mr Deem recruited an Irish executive, Conor Hanley, to be the company's CEO. Mr Hanley previously worked at the US respiratory technology firm ResMed. Fire 1 has 15 people working for the company, with a former McKinsey and ResMed executive, John Britton, as its chief operating officer.

"Ninety thousand Irish people live with heart failure, with 10,000 newly diagnosed each year," the firm said.

"The condition affects 15 million people across the EU. Globally, it is estimated that at least 26 million people suffer from heart failure, and the burden is particularly high for older patients. It is the leading cause of hospitalisation for people over 65, with annual treatment costs exceeding $31bn (€25bn) in the US alone."

Heart failure is said to account for 1.2pc of the total annual Irish health budget.

Irish Independent