US medical start-up raises €18m as it floats on ISE
A US start-up targeting one of the developed world's most common ailments – lower back pain – has joined the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) as it embarks on a major expansion drive.
Mainstay Medical has completed a listing in Dublin and Paris – the first company ever to do this – raising €18m and valuing it at €90m. It is the ISE's third IPO of the year, amid a recovery in investor confidence and start-up activity.
Mainstay will use the proceeds to hold clinical trials on its only product, ReActiv8, in Europe and the US, hoping for EU approval by late next year.
ReActiv8 is an implantable device which sends electrical impulses to the muscles in the spine that give stability to the lower back area.
"Think of your spine as a sail – and those muscles are the stays that support it. Our product brings them back to life," Australian-born chief executive Peter Crosby said.
Mainstay was founded in 2008 in Minneapolis by doctor and entrepreneur Danny Sachs; 61-year-old Mr Crosby came on board in 2009 and worked for "sweat equity" until the business had secured its first round of financing.
It moved to Dublin in 2012 in the midst of securing a second round of financing, which was led by Irish life-sciences venture capitalist Fountain Healthcare Partners.
"We moved to Ireland for several reasons" Mr Crosby said. "Our early stage investors were European venture capitalists – it made sense to be near them. Secondly, the first major market that we'll sell into is Europe. And finally, Ireland is a logical location for medical device companies – 19 of the world's 25 largest in this field have Irish operations and about 4pc of the Irish population works in this sector, which is unprecedented.
There are two million people across Europe and the US who would make suitable candidates for ReActiv8, he said.
"Every year, money equivalent to 1.5pc of GDP is spent by the developed world on lower back pain – that's more than most countries' defence spending.