Touchstone Innovations plc (AIM: IVO, ‘the Group’, ‘Innovations’) has provided £1.5 million seed investment round in Cardian Limited (‘Cardian’ or the ‘Company’) a new spin-out company from Imperial College London.
Cardian has been formed to commercialise a novel implantable device that improves the monitoring and treatment of cardiac failure patients, by providing completely automated, continuous wireless monitoring of blood pressure in the pulmonary artery.
Following this investment, Innovations will hold a 53.7% interest in the Company, comprising a combination of founders equity and 27.3% derived from investment.
Heart failure is a common and devastating chronic condition, that affects more than 500,000 people living in the UK (source: British Heart Foundation). Standard care is based on the fine-tuning of dosing of therapy according to patients’ self-reported symptoms. This is extremely inaccurate and in many cases, leads to symptoms worsening, re-hospitalisation, impairment and ultimately death (50% mortality at five years after diagnosis).
Cardian has developed a fully implantable wireless pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) sensor which needs neither batteries nor a power line. The sensor is read by an external body-worn portable reader the size of a smartphone, in real time, 24/7. This allows the continuous monitoring of the pulmonary arterial pressure during daily activity, including during periods of exertion and stress (rather than lying in a hospital bed). This is significant because around half of all heart failure sufferers show no sign of PAP abnormalities at rest, and can therefore only be monitored with a truly continuous monitoring system. Cardian’s products should therefore allow doctors to spot signals that existing technologies miss, further improving management of the condition, reducing hospitalisations and mortality rate.
The Company’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Yadav was previously COO of Cardiomems, one of the pioneers of the monitoring of pulmonary arterial pressure. Cardiomems was acquired by St Jude Medical for a total $450.0 million in 2014.
The underlying technology was developed by the Company’s co-founders Dr Christopher McLeod, Dr Mohammad Reza Bahmanyar, and Dr Longfang Zou of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College. Dr McLeod, who has been appointed as a non-executive director of Cardian, has over 40 years’ experience applying the most recent technology to non-invasive, minimally invasive and invasive patient monitoring.
Dani Bach, Director of Healthcare Ventures, Touchstone Innovations, commented:
“This is a classic Imperial spin-out. The formation of Cardian capitalises on more than a decade of research from Chris McLeod’s lab within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College.
“Our Technology Transfer Office, Imperial Innovations, has been supporting the founders for many years, working with the team on IP protection and market evaluation, and helping to secure initial funding, which enabled them to develop prototypes in an academic setting.
“We are assembling a strong management team to commercialise this compelling technology, which combined with the expertise of the founding academics, gives us a great opportunity to help to create a new company that could significantly impact the lives of millions of sufferers of cardiac failure.”