Pathfinder Medical raises £8.5m for tech that guides blood vessel connections

Pathfinder Medical funding

Pathfinder Medical, a company developing an electronic guidance system to help connect blood vessels during endovascular surgery, has raised £8.5m in funding

The funding round was led by the Business Growth Fund (BGF), an investment firm that has put over £100m in medtech companies including OrganOX and Vasorum. It was also led by Parkwalk, a London-based investor with a focus on commercialising discoveries made at UK universities.

The round was joined by “industry insiders” and existing investor Deepbridge Capital.

Founded in 2014 by Robert Dickinson and CEO Sorin Popa, Pathfinder Medical’s technology is based on Popa’s research at Imperial College London into using electric fields for guidance in endovascular procedures.

Endovascular procedures are performed inside the body using long thin tubes called catheters, which is less invasive than open surgery.

The London-based startup’s technology, which is yet to go to market, includes ePath, a catheter kit that comes with a digital display to show catheter alignment during surgery.

The main application for Pathfinder Medical’s technology is in dialysis procedures to make a connection between arteries and veins for the filtering of blood.

There are an estimated 3.4 million dialysis patients worldwide and Pathfinder Medical plans to use the funding to complete “pivotal” trials on its path to secure regulatory approval and commercialise the technology.

“There are over three million dialysis patients worldwide and every year patients undergo nearly 650,000 surgical AVF creation procedures,” said Sorin Popa, CEO of Pathfinder Medical. “However, these procedures take a long time to heal and are prone to failure. Our technology has the power to significantly improve the outcomes for dialysis patients, improving their quality of life and saving millions of pounds in the process.”

BGF has invested over £3bn in more than 450 companies since it was set up in 2011. It typically has a minority, non-controlling stake in the companies that invests in.

Meanwhile Parkwalk manages £360m of assets and has invested in over 150 companies in areas spanning life sciences, cleantech, quantum computing and others.

As part of the funding round, Chas Taylor will join the Pathfinder Medical board as chairman, while Stefano Ciampolini will join as a non-executive director.