PlugMed has been awarded €2 million of funding, as part of the World Innovation Challenge organized by the French Ministry of Industry. It will enable the company to speed up the Geroneph project that aims at developing an innovative device in the treatment of kidney failure.
Nowadays, dialysis is used by more than two million people around the world suffering from kidney failure. Population ageing leads to an increase in dialysis catheter uses, which carry a high infection risk for the patient. PlugMed’s device provides an innovative solution to treat dialysed patients, whilst reducing infection risks at the same time. The company designs, develops and manufactures devices that transfer electricity or fluids through the skin generating a lower infection risk.
In this Geroneph project, PlugMed has been working with nephrologists and surgeons to develop osseointegrated dialysis connectors. The technology can transfer dialysate (peritoneal dialysis) or blood (hemodialysis) with a low risk of infection and will offer unrivalled quality of life for patients.
Dr Pierre Sabin, President and Founder of PlugMed, said, “our retroauricular connector could considerably improve the quality of life of patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, for example by making it easier for them to take baths and showers.”
The President of the French Republic launched the Worldwide Innovation Challenge (WIC) under the supervision of the 2030 Innovation Commission chaired by Anne Lauvergeon (former CEO of Areva). The WIC will allocate €300M to fund innovative projects with a strong business potential. It is structured in three phases: the start-up phase allocates €200,000 per project, the risk reduction phase allocates up to €2M per project and the development phase will allocate up to €20 million per project.
In phase I of France’s World Innovation Challenge, PlugMed received €200,000 of funding to assess the technological feasibility of the Geroneph Project. Phase II gives PlugMed additional resources to achieve the first-in-man study.
Louis de Lillers, CEO of PlugMed, added, “The World Innovation Challenge will boost the Geroneph project which has a great medical, economic and business potential. Our technology addresses a major clinical need, minimizing severe infections risks associated with catheters, such as bacteraemia. Our solution is designed to promote home dialysis (both home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis) and therefore reduce care costs. Our product is bound to create a new market segment.”