UCD-based firm FIRE1 raises €40m from investors to develop heart monitoring system

Posted: January 31, 2017

University College Dublin-based medical technology company Foundry Innovation and Research 1 (FIRE1) has raised €40 million from investors.

The new investment capital will allow the company to develop its remote monitoring system for heart failure patients.

FIRE1 currently employs 15 staff. The UCD spin-in company says the funding will also enable it to double its workforce by the end of this year.

According to a report by the Heartbeat Trust, around 90,000 people in Ireland suffer from heart failure and another 160,000 patients are living with impending heart failure.

A further 10,000 patients are diagnosed with heart failure annually. There are an estimated 26 million heart failure patients worldwide.

The government’s annual spend on heart failure accounts for 1.2 percent of the Irish health budget, costing €158m annually.

European healthcare investor Glide Healthcare led the latest round of financing in FIRE1. It was joined by Belgian venture firm Gimv and French finance company Seventure. All existing investors in Fire1, Irish med tech firm Medtronic and US venture firms Lightstone Ventures and New Enterprise Associates, also participated.

Fire1 also announced that Janke Dittmer, partner at Gilde Healthcare, and Patrick Van Beneden, partner at Gimv, have joined its board of directors. “This infusion of new capital from these premier investors will enable us to accelerate our progress and deliver on our commitment to help patients with heart failure,” said Conor Hanley, FIRE1 CEO and President.

Dr Hanley was previously CEO and co-founder of BiancaMed, a UCD spin-out company which commercialised a novel method of providing connected health solutions. In 2011, BiancaMed was acquired by ResMed, where Mr Hanley also led the firm’s Chronic Disease Management Solutions division.

He received a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from INSEAD, and a First Class Honours B.E. from UCD.

“This is a significant development for one of our NexusUCD clients and demonstrates the high calibre of companies we have based in our Industry Partnership Centre,” said Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD.

FIRE1 is based at NexusUCD, an office facility for companies that want to collaborate with UCD’s research base and can benefit from close proximity to the University’s academics and researchers.

By: Jamie Deasy: digital journalist, UCD University Relations