Barcelona organ preservation startup Transplant Biomedicals reeled in $2.63 million (€2.5 million) in its second round of funding over the weekend, bringing its total funding to €4 million.
Spanish venture capital firms Caixa Capital Risc (CaixaCR) and Kereon Partners led the round, the latter following up their €1.5 million sole investment back in November 2015.
Usually you would make someone uncomfortable if you said you are trying to disrupt transporting organs for surgery, but in this case it’s a source of comfort. They are developing an organ transport device they claim leads to “superior preservation” en route to an operation. Transplant Biomedicals was founded by CEO Ignasi Heras and spun out of work done at Idibaps, the “Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi i Sunyer” in Barcelona.
According to their website, they reduce the risk of “delayed graft function,” i.e. the inability of a transplanted organ to properly work when it is attached to a new body. They also hint they have “the potential to use part of the marginal organs that are currently discarded and thus reduce the waiting lists.”
Organ transplant should be considered one of the golden eggs of new technologies in that there are several research teams and university spinouts trying to develop an organ-manufacturing system grown from patient cells. In lieu of that, companies like Transplant Biomedicals are trying to make the current transplant system more efficient.
Self-described “lean non-profit” Organize is trying to centralize all US organ registries across its states and territories to reduce waiting list time. If better preservation systems are available, longer distances could feasibly be covered by organ couriers to save lives without having to worry about the organ’s functions withering rapidly. A startup in Des Moines, Iowa called HealthTech Solutions has created an app (called Organizer, of course) to speed up inquiries between transplant centers and has already started testing their system at LifeSource in Minneapolis, LifeCenter in Seattle, and the Iowa Donor Network in North Liberty, Iowa.
Transplant Biomedicals kicks off the year for a city that saw a strong showing in 2016. Barcelona startups accumulated €245 million in funds according to data from Tech.eu, though that is down from €319.7 million in 2015. Caixa is one of the more prolific investors in Catalonia, contributing in 2016 to a €5 million Series A for logistics app Glovo, a €1 million seed for boat rental platform Nautal, and the €25 million Series C for biomed startup STAT-Diagnostica.