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BGF and Parkwalk lead £8.5m investment in Pathfinder Medical

BGF News 01.20.2022
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Pathfinder Medical – a medical device company improving outcomes for vascular procedures – has secured an £8.5 million funding round led by investors BGF and Parkwalk, joined by a number of industry insiders, and with support from existing investor Deepbridge Capital.

Pathfinder was co-founded in 2014 by Robert Dickinson and CEO Sorin Popa following the latter’s research at Imperial College London into the use of electric fields for guidance in medical device procedures. The company has developed a proprietary technology to guide and accurately align catheters in endovascular procedures which allows for clinicians to make connections across blood vessels in the body without the need for open surgery.

The key application of the technology is in the dialysis field, where a robust connection needs to be made between an artery and a vein to enable the filtering of the blood. Traditionally, this was done through an open surgical procedure (an AVF), whereas Pathfinders’ device enables a minimally invasive, endovascular approach (endoAVF). This helps avoid surgical trauma, improving the outcomes for patients with kidney failure while also generating cost savings for payers.

The multi-million-pound investment has been raised to support additional pre-clinical work, complete a pivotal trial in patients, and ultimately secure regulatory approval prior to commercialisation in key medical markets across the world. To date, the business has received over £6 million of funding to date from investors including Deepbridge, a consortium of angels and specialist grant funders.

Following the investment, Chas Taylor will be joining the board as Chairman and Stefano Ciampolini as Non-Executive Director. Taylor is serial entrepreneur in the medical device industry, having founded and exited three companies in the vascular space (MedNova, Novate, Veryan). Ciampolini is a serial healthcare entrepreneur, having founded and successfully exited several companies in the dialysis and renal care sector including UK dialysis company Renal Services.

There are over three million dialysis patients worldwide and every year patients undergo nearly 650,000 surgical AVF creation procedures. 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. We are delighted to have the support of BGF and Parkwalk to help the business move forward with our clinical trials and ultimately roll-out this ground-breaking product to a global market.

Sorin Popa, CEO of Pathfinder Medical

Lucy Edwardes Jones, investor at BGF, commented: “We are delighted to be backing Pathfinder, an early stage medtech business with an innovative technology and a clear path to regulatory approval. There is a significant opportunity in the dialysis field, where Pathfinder’s technology has the potential to positively impact on the lives of millions of patients. We are excited to add another ground-breaking business to BGF’s ever-expanding life sciences portfolio.”

BGF has invested over £100 million in a range of ground-breaking medtech companies to date. Recent investments include the likes of OrganOx, Vasorum and Locate Bio.

Cassie Doherty, investor at Parkwalk commented: “Dialysis is an important treatment option for patients with advanced kidney disease. The innovation by Sorin and the Pathfinder team has great potential to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for these patients. We are pleased to join BGF leading this investment round and delighted that Chas and Stefano have been appointed to the Board, bringing further medtech, vascular and renal expertise to support the company at this exciting stage.”