Irish startup Luminate Medical picks up €4.7 million to tackle the side effects of cancer treatment

08/02/2022 Luminate Medical, NUIG. Andrew Downes, Xposure

Medtech startup Luminate Medical has announced a fresh capital injection of about €4.7 million. The Irish startup is developing medical devices to eliminate the side effects of cancer treatment, improving patient outcomes and experiences. 

Cancer treatment has made incredible developments over the past few years. The disease, which sadly still impacts far too many of us, requires intensive treatments and therapies – which themselves come with various side effects and consequences. Aiming to eliminate the side effects, such as chemotherapy-induced hair loss, Luminate Medical has just received funding in grant financing and a seed round investment. 

The funding for the Galway-based team was led by Elkstone Capital, SciFounders, and Faber. 

Founded in 2018 by Aaron Hannon, Dr Barbara Oliveira and Professor Martin O’Halloran, Luminate Medical participated in the Y Combinator S21 Batch and has also received grant funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund.

The medtech innovators are currently developing their first product – Lily. A portable head-covering device, the product prevents the delivery of chemotherapy drugs to the hair follicles in a comfortable and repeatable way. Current devices to prevent hair loss use scalp cooling therapy, which requires patients to remain in the clinic for hours after treatment under extremely cold temperatures to prevent chemotherapy from attacking the hair follicles. 

Luminate Medical’s product, however, enables a portable, comfortable and effective solution to prevent hair loss. The Lily device enables patients to purchase and access hair loss treatment directly and will eliminate the requirement for patients to remain in the clinic after chemotherapy treatment.

Barbara Oliveira, CTO and Co-Founder of Luminate Medical, said: “Our mission is to revolutionise the user experience of healthcare. We do that by building medical devices with a patient-first approach and focusing on the needs that truly matter to patients.”

This new funding will be used by the startup to complete the first in-patient clinical trials of its Lily device in Europe and the US in 2022 and 2023, alongside expanding its R&D team with roles in biomedical engineering, finite element analysis and product design. Clinical trial sites for the product include the company’s home in Galway, Ireland. Based on this clinical data, the company anticipates engaging with the FDA for product clearance in 2023.

Sofia Santos, Partner at Faber said: “Our conviction in Luminate Medical’s mission comes from the way the team envisions the use of data to solve a problem that has been ignored by the traditional medical device industry. Improving cancer patients’ quality of life and care along their treatment journey is an underestimated field where advanced technological development can add a lot of value.”