Here’s a context where ice-cold hearts are something positive: Following the promising results of their first clinical trials, the team of the medical engineering startup AFreeze, is moving forward with a newly acquired 2-million-euro investment round, CEO Dr. Gertraud Unterrainer told inventures.eu. This financial backing came from both existing shareholders and renowned private investors – who, however, remain undisclosed.
Unterrainer believes that “the promising results from the first clinical studies, the clear goals for market expansion and an extremely committed team have laid the necessary foundation for this round of funding.”
The AFreeze philoshophy
The Tyrolian company has engineered a cardiac catheter that uses freezing temperatures to treat common heart disturbances, like cardiac arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation. This novel apparatus, the AFreeze CoolLoop, not only makes it easier for medical professionals to manage patients with atrial fibrillation, but also makes the procedure less stressful for patients.
The AFreeze team came together in 2005 with the goal of developing better treatment options for patients with such a condition. Officially, the company was co-founded in 2008 by Dr. Florian Hintringer (Chief Medical Officer) and Dr. Gerald Fischer (CTO), with Unterrainer completing the team in 2012 as CEO.
As we reported a few months ago, AFreeze is planning their Europe-wide expansion, and they are looking at a substantial target market. Atrial fibrillation, which the AFreeze CoolLoop addresses, is the most common heart rhythm disorder, with more than 14 million people in industrialised nations being affected by this condition. It occurs in 1-2 % of the population, but these numbers are expected to double in the next 50 years due to the aging of the general population. Patients with atrial fibrillation have a significantly reduced quality of life and the current therapies for treating this condition rely heavily on limiting symptoms through the administration of drugs. AFreeze offers an alternative treatment through the method of catheter ablation, which is a minimally invasive procedure.
“The proceeds of the financing will be used to complete further clinical studies,” said Unterrainer. In addition, potential investors can still participate in this round as silent partners before the end of the year.
We’re excited to see what 2014 has in store for AFreeze!
In partnership with CAST Tyrol