Monday 23 September 2019

UK's BTG converts $1.37m of Vetex loan into equity

Innovation: The Vetex device is used to treat deep vein thrombosis
Innovation: The Vetex device is used to treat deep vein thrombosis
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

BTG, a UK-based healthcare firm that recently became a subsidiary of global medical devices giant Boston Scientific, has converted part of a $2.7m (€2.4m) loan it gave Galway-based startup Vetex into equity in the Irish company.

BTG granted the loan to Vetex in 2017, and noted at the time that it had a call option over 100pc of the Irish company's share capital. BTG subsequently informed Vetex that it no longer intended to exercise the call option, however.

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The UK business has just converted $1.37m of the loan into equity.

Vetex Medical was founded by Mark Bruzzi, a professor in biomedical engineering at NUI Galway. The university has a stake in the company.

Vetex has developed a groundbreaking clot removing catheter. The device has already been successfully used in a procedure in London.

Late last year, a UK patient with deep vein thrombosis could not be treated with drugs that would have broken up the clot or thinned her blood.

She was offered the opportunity to have the clot removed using the new Vetex device.

Mr Bruzzi told the Irish Independent that Vetex had advanced significantly since the firm received the loan from BTG. He added the company was continuing to work toward achieving approval for its device to be deployed in the US market. That could be secured some time next year.

The company is likely to need significant additional investment as it rolls out its product in the United States. The market for patients with acute deep vein thrombosis that Vetex is targeting is worth more than $400m a year.

During the summer, the European Innovation Council selected Vetex as one of seven Irish startups to receive a total of €16m in funding.

Six of the seven firms that shared the funding are in the healthcare space.

Boston Scientific announced last year that it intended to buy BTG for £3.3bn (€3.6bn). The deal closed last week.

BTG develops and commercialises products used in minimally invasive procedures targeting cancer and vascular diseases, as well as speciality drugs.

Irish Independent

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