Brian Shields, founder of the local medtech startup Neurent Medical is Enterprise Ireland’s Startup Founder of the Year.
Mr Shields was named Founder of the Year by the Enterprise Ireland at the High Potential Startup Founders Forum on Wednesday night.
The HPSU Founders Forum was created by Enterprise Ireland together with Select Strategies to give the people who have started their own companies a place where they can share challenges, seek support, reflect and learn from each other.
Neurent Medical is an NUI Galway spinout company founded by Brian Shields and David Townley as part of NUIG’s BioInnovate programme which encourages startups in the Medtech and Life Sciences sectors.
They are developing an innovative medical device to vastly improve the treatment of rhinitis, a common nasal problem that is currently treated with surgical options that haven’t changed much since the 1950s.
Rhinitis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the nasal passages; its most common symptoms are congestion and rhinorrhoea (a runny nose).
There are two current surgical options: either using heat on the inflamed tissue, which results in scarring, or cutting away some of the tissue to create room for air to flow.
Neurent is taking a different approach with a single use device where a micro electrode device is inserted through the nostril and delivers targeted energy to affected tissue in order to head off cascading inflammation.
It;s advantages include much reduced risk and invasiveness from the procedure, and it can be done right there in the doctor’s office.
According to Neurent the medical device should be able to deliver relief from symptoms for up to three years.
So far they have raised more than €10 million for the development of their device to tackle this problem.
After the last round of funding in May, Brian Shields announced that Neurent would be creating 25 new jobs at their Oranmore headquarters as it pursues as commercial license from the Food and Drug Administration in the US.
They hope to begin clinical trials of their device in the United States within the next year.
photo credit: Enterprise Ireland/twitter