More than half of the hospital infections are caused by the use of medical devices such as catheters and implants. Dutch biotech startup LipoCoat wants to fight these life-threatening bacterial infections in hospital environments and has now secured funding of €1.5 million amid coronavirus outbreak.
The funding comes from Dutch informal investors, the High Tech Fund from Enschede and Innovation Fund Rabobank. The funding will allow LipoCoat to bring innovations in infection control to market faster.
The Twente-based university spin-out was founded in 2016 and aims to improve the safety and quality of healthcare, which is of utmost importance in times of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. The Dutch startup is also currently conducting seven research projects, mainly for multinationals that want to increase the safety of their medical devices. LipoCoat’s unique bio-inspired and non-toxic coatings protect against bacteria, viruses and infections.
To elaborate, the investment will be used to bring innovations in infection control to market faster. The High Tech Fund has committed €600,000 for equipment and supplies in LipoCoat’s brand new lab. In late April 2020, LipoCoat will open its very own lab at Kennispark Twente, the innovation campus of the University of Twente.
Contact lenses as the first application
Launching innovations for medical devices and the healthcare industry is time-consuming. “That is why LipoCoat focuses on product-market combinations with a fast rollout, such as the contact lens market,” said Jasper van Weerd, Founder and CEO of LipoCoat. The first contact lenses with the LipoCoat coating are in the medical approval process, with the product expected to be launched in fall 2020. In a few years’ time, LipoCoat expects the first coated catheters to enter market. Catheter infections worldwide cause great suffering and patient discomfort. In addition, such infections increase healthcare costs by tens of billions of euros annually.
LipoCoat is also developing a coating that can be used for the screening and testing of new medicines that involve cell culture systems. These systems are usually sensitive to pollution. When cell culture systems are contaminated, the testing of new medicines becomes unreliable. The LipoCoat coating increases the efficiency of drug screening and testing, resulting in cost reduction and better results. The solution will become available as a kit and is expected to enter market in the summer of 2020.
Improving the quality and safety of healthcare
LipoCoat’s mission is to improve the quality and safety of healthcare, which is very relevant in these times of coronavirus. At the same time, the LipoCoat team will continue innovating within the catheter domain. To make the leap to further growth, a Series B funding round of €5 million is planned for mid-2021. With this investment round, the company wants to build its revenue streams, increase its development and production capacity, and expand its international footprint by gaining access to US and Asian markets.
Prior to this, the Dutch biotech company received investments, subsidies and loans from RedMedtech Ventures, NanoNextNL, EU-Horizon2020, RVO-MIT, NWO, JIKR, LLX2 Investments and American informal investors.
Main image picture credits: LipoCoat
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