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Oxford Endovascular, an origami-inspired startup raises £8M to fight brain aneurysms

Oxford Endovascular
Image credit: Oxford Endovascular

Oxford Endovascular, a University of Oxford spin-out company, has secured £8 million in Series A+ funding to propel its innovative brain aneurysm treatment technology towards human trials. This novel approach has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes for a condition that affects a substantial portion of the population.

Back in April, we also reported about AI medtech company, Qureight that had raised $8.5M to develop drugs for lung and heart diseases.

Brain aneurysms are balloon-like bulges in the brain’s blood vessels. If left untreated, they can rupture and cause life-threatening bleeding in the brain (haemorrhage). According to Oxford Endovascular, 1 in 50 people are affected by this condition.

The company’s flagship device, OXIFLOW, is a unique flow-diverter stent inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. It utilises concepts from space-age satellite technology to create a miniature device laser-cut from Nitinol, an advanced material known for its shape memory and design flexibility.

This design offers several advantages over conventional flow-diverters. OXIFLOW is intended to be positioned and open more precisely within the blood vessel, potentially reducing the risk of complications associated with current treatments. Up to 35% of existing aneurysm treatments can lead to complications.

Taking on a global challenge

The global market for devices used to treat brain aneurysms is estimated to reach nearly $3 billion annually. This funding round will allow Oxford Endovascular to accelerate OXIFLOW’s development and expand its operations. The company has made significant progress since its previous funding round in 2021 and is nearing a pivotal stage – First-In-Human clinical trials.

Mike Karim, CEO of Oxford Endovascular, expressed his enthusiasm: “With the support of our investors, we are on the cusp of revolutionising brain aneurysm treatment. Our team is dedicated to working with regulators, medical professionals, and industry experts to bring this product to market and address a condition impacting countless individuals worldwide.”

Investment in innovation

Parkwalk Advisors, the UK’s leading investor in university spin-outs, spearheaded the funding round with a £4.2 million contribution. Alun Williams, Investment Director at Parkwalk Advisors, highlighted their commitment to backing research-intensive companies with the potential to make a significant societal impact. 

He views Oxford Endovascular as an embodiment of this philosophy, stating, “This is a device we’ve supported since its early stages, and it has the potential to improve lives. It exemplifies the exceptional ideas emerging from UK universities.”

Additional investors in the round include Norcliffe Capital, Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), Vulpes Investment Management, and the University of Oxford itself. This funding builds upon Oxford Endovascular’s previous success, which includes grants from Horizon Europe and Innovate UK, as well as selection for the EU’s EIT-funded Covid rescue program.

What we think about the startup

With this substantial funding, Oxford Endovascular is well-positioned to advance OXIFLOW through human trials and potentially towards regulatory approval. This technology has the potential to transform brain aneurysm treatment by offering a more precise and potentially safer approach for patients.

Oxford Endovascular’s £8 million funding is a significant step forward in the development of OXIFLOW. This origami-inspired stent has the potential to revolutionise brain aneurysm treatment by offering a potentially safer and more precise solution. However, navigating regulatory hurdles, competition, cost considerations, and physician training will be crucial in bringing this technology to market and ultimately improving the lives of patients suffering from this serious condition.

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