Promising test results
Dialysis developer Invizius seeks up to £6m
The firm’s system has shown ‘considerable promise’
Scottish biotech firm Invizius, which has developed a technology aimed at reducing long-term side effects and health complications from dialysis treatment, is seeking Series A funding after undergoing promising safety trials.
Invizius raised £2.75 million last year to assist with the development of its H-Guard system.
The seed funding round was led by Mercia, Solvay, Downing, Old College Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank. It now looks to raise an additional £3-6 million over the next year to progress to clinical trials in 2022.
The H-Guard system allows dialysis to take place completely undetected by the body’s immune system. This prevents the blood’s foreign body response from taking place, thereby preventing a hostile inflammatory reaction.
Invizius co-founder and CEO Richard Boyd said extensive testing of its system has shown “considerable promise” and manufacturing has been completed.
Further testing will take place at the University of Groningen as soon as the Netherlands’ lockdown rules allow.
“In the coming year, we hope to work towards clinical trials in patients and aim to get this product to market as soon as possible,” he said.
Given its working relationship with the University of Groningen, Dr Marc Seelen of the university’s department of internal medicine, nephrology, has been appointed as a clinical adviser to Invizius.
There are currently three million dialysis patients worldwide who receive treatment multiple times a week. This number was set to increase by 6% year on year before the onset of COVID-19, however the increase in patients will now likely be higher given the long-term damage that the virus can wreak on patients’ kidneys.
For particularly ill patients with COVID-19, the virus can cause acute kidney failure which can eventually turn into chronic kidney failure – with the only treatment options being either lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant.
In addition to the physical side effects for patients, there is evidence of a link between inflammation and feelings of fatigue and depression, which might explain why these are routinely experienced by dialysis patients. By reducing the body’s inflammatory response, the H-Guard Priming Solution may also help dialysis patients’ quality of life.
Invizius co-founder and chief technology officer Dr Andy Herbert added: “The current dialysis treatment methods have a hugely negative impact on patients’ quality of life, not to mention their life expectancy – and this has barely improved over the last 20 years.
“We refuse to accept the status quo. Our aim is for H-Guard to be approved as soon as possible in order to transform the lives of millions of haemodialysis patients worldwide.”