Spin-out Company Finalists 2016

AventaMed DAC - Cork Institute of Technology (Academic Founders: John Vaughan and Olive O'Driscoll)

AventaMed is an award-winning spin-out from the Medical Engineering Design and Innovation Centre (MEDIC) within the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). It is a medical device company focused on simplifying Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgical procedures to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient safety. The company’s first product is a medical device which places grommets in childrens’ ears, without the need for a full general anaesthetic.   In September 2015, AventaMed closed a €1.3 million funding round. This funding has allowed the founders of the company to take up full-time positions at AventaMed and move the business into the Rubicon Centre, CIT’s business incubator.  It has enabled AventaMed to design, develop and certify its Quality Management System to comply with the medical device ISO 13485 standard. AventaMed has grown its team and is focused on completing clinical studies on the product and obtaining regulatory approval.  The funding will also allow the company to develop its sales and distribution channels to make the product available to ENT surgeons worldwide. The Industry Liaison Office (ILO) in CIT was instrumental in the successful application for Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Funding which supported the early development of the product. Once the initial concept had been developed, the CIT ILO managed the invention disclosure and patent strategy. Subsequently the ILO facilitated the creation of the campus company and negotiated a licence agreement to the intellectual property and a shareholders agreement in which CIT took a minority shareholding.

Kastus Technology Ltd - Dublin Institute of Technology (Academic Founder: Dr Brendan Duffy)  

Kastus Technology Ltd has launched a ground-breaking technology aimed at controlling the spread of hospital “superbugs” such as MRSA and E.coli.  This anti-microbial coatings technology, which can be applied to a range of surfaces including glass, ceramics, plastics, steel and wood is the culmination of nearly 10 years of DIT-led research.  Towards the end of 2015 Kastus launched its first product, Kastus Glass, based entirely on intellectual property licensed from DIT.  In addition, the technology underpinning the product was granted a UK and US patent in late 2015 with other territories pending.  Kastus’ modus operandi is to sub-license the technology to large multinationals who manufacture components that most individuals come in contact with such as computer and smart device screens, door handles and toilet seats – all of which are widely recognised as being vectors for the transmission of hospital superbugs. The relationship with the spin-out company is enduring and researchers in DIT’s Technology Gateway CREST are actively involved with Kastus in coating customer samples, the scale up on manufacturing and investigating new products and environments in which the coatings can be applied.  The Technology Transfer Office at DIT has been at the core of commercialising this technology.  The office assisted in the original funding application process to build out the technology, it supported the spin-out of the technology and implemented an agreed patent strategy to match the needs of the spin out company as well as providing ongoing advice on technology development and product refinement. 

SurgaColl Technologies Ltd - Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Academic Founder: Prof Fergal O'Brien) 

SurgaColl Technologies is a venture capital-backed company that spun out of the RCSI to commercialise a portfolio of implantable orthopaedic products. The company’s lead product, HydroxyCollTM, is a medical implant designed to replace the use of a patient’s own bone tissue when repairing bone damaged by trauma or cancer. In November 2015, the company was successful in obtaining CE Mark market approval for HydroxyCollTM. This highly significant regulatory approval milestone now enables the company to launch HydroxyCollTM on the market in all European Union countries, facilitating revenue generation and securing the future of this young company.  This has paved the way for FDA approval in the USA and will serve as the basis to obtain commercial authorisation for the product in other geographic areas.  It has enabled SurgaColl to enter into agreements with a number of key distribution partners in Europe, it has directly led to a number of strategic partnership opportunities with key orthobiologic MedTech companies and has dramatically improved the company’s fundraising potential. The Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) at RCSI has been providing ongoing support to Professor O’Brien, the founder of Surgacoll, since 2007.  The ORI was instrumental in managing the intellectual property portfolio, carrying out research to identify the market, validating the start-up opportunity and identifying the business partner.  Subsequently the office assisted in the creation of the company in 2012, managed licensing of the technologies and has since played an ongoing role in supporting company development.

Find the complete list of finalists for 2016 here.