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Transplant Biomedicals has closed a €1.5-millions round of funding led by Basque firm Kereon Partners and Caixa Capital Risc, with participation from other private investors and public funds through the Retos-Colaboración 2015 program under the Spanish National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-2016.

The Catalan start-up will use these resources to speed up development and marketing of their first product, a medical device to better preserve transplant organs during transport. The device uses innovative technology that prevents injury and damage caused by ischemia for a longer period of time. This process currently uses normal coolers that can't keep the organs at optimal conditions.

“We’re very happy with the backing we’ve received, seeing that we’re supported not just in Catalonia but around the country, as is the case of the strong commitment from the Basque firm Kereon Partners. Lately we’ve seen news of capital increases in other, larger companies and seeing that us little guys can get support as well to help us get started is great news,” explains Ignasi Heras, CEO and co-founder of the company. “Now we have funding for at least one full year, to continue developing our product, and, being optimistic, it could be market ready by 2017."

Transplant Biomedicals is a spin-off of the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) –which belongs to Hospital Clinic Barcelona and the University of Barcelona- that was founded in 2014 and spent its first year at the Barcelona Science Park. The company also participated in the BioEmprenedorXXI program, an initiative of “la Caixa”, Biocat and Barcelona Activa that helps launch new business projects in the life sciences.

“I believe the path to follow now, with the best outlook for the future, lies in medical devices. It is a sector that has gained a lot of strength in a short period of time, mainly thanks to powerful hospitals and industries like we have here in Catalonia. This is why we encourage other companies to follow this path as well,” says Heras.

According to the Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2014, Spain is the global leader in transplants. Last year alone, there were 4,360 transplant patients and a donation rate of 36 donors per million. Nevertheless, only 38% of all organs donated are viable, which makes it extremely important to preserve them as well as possible during transport from the donor to the recipient.


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