Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Angiodroid received €900k ($1.16M) in Seed funding from Italian Angels for Growth (IAG) and Zeta MetaVentures

Bologna, 23rd October 2013 - One more time a group of members of Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), the principal Italian network of angel investors, aimed at the field of medical devices and innovation result of Italian research. Italian Angels for Growth has indeed invested €900k ($1.16M) along with Zernita Meta Ventures (for the fund Ingenieum Emilia Romagna II) in the bologna-based start-up Angiodroid Srl, operating in the sector of medical technologies. This €900k could double if determined objectives will be reached commented Angiodroid CEO Sebastiano Zannoli to the financial newspaper "Il Sole 24 Ore".

It is a first round - startup investment aimed at developing new products and a business network in Europe, India, Canada, the Middle East, China, Brazil, Africa. As Michele Marzola, the business angel who coordinated the preparatory operations to close the investment from the side of IAG's shareholders: "Italy expresses excellence both in innovation and in the realization of new medical devices allowing to improve the clinical efficacy on patients and reduce health costs at the same time. Angiodroid is one of those Italian champions in a market in constant growthThe elements that persuaded us to invest in Angiodroid - continues Marzola - are combination the of an innovative product that is already appreciated in the halls angiographic with a team strong, which is characterized by scientific excellence and growth orientation of society."

Angiodroid, founded by two brothers Sebastiano (current CEO) and Samuel Zannoli (software development manager), has developed a medical technology capable of automatically exploiting CO2 characteristics (carbon dioxide) as contrast medium for many different kinds of medical operations (operational radiology, vascular surgery and hemodynamics) in which are currently being used other chemical elements (in angiography usually iodine or iodine-based compounds). Angiodroid's innovative medical technology represent the first fully automated system to perform angiography that uses carbon dioxide as a contrast medium alternative to iodine, thus ensuring greater safety, particularly in patients with renal diseases, thus allowing a completely painless and safe exploration of the blood vessels, with excellent image definition. The funding will be used to develop new products and the sales network in Europe, India, Canada, Middle East, China, Brazil and Africa.

The first hardware developed by Angiodroid is a completely safe and user friendly technological solution that includes an injector and disposable (one-way) kits,  to perform angiography, namely the representation, for diagnostic purpose, of blood or lymph vessels of the human body using a technique that involves the infusion of a soluble contrast medium within vessels and the generation of medical images through various techniques of medical imaging.

Starting in the '90s thanks to the advent of digital technologies the imaging system has made

steps forward, but it is with the introduction of a new contrast medium such as CO2 that one aims to render examinations safer for the patient and also usable for subjects which until now couldn't bear the traditional angiography with iodine, such as people with kidney
failure, diabetes, or generally intolerant to iodinated contrast medium.

"The reason why our attention was directed straight to the angiographic sector - said the founder Sebastian Zannoli - is that we have identified a specific need in this field: as life expectancy of people and elderly population grows, thus causing an increase in the number vascular diseases, the demand for sophisticated, precise, safe, and automated diagnostic and treatment  tools consequently soars."

Angiodroid's CO2 injector is currently accompanied by a kit of disposable catheters, but in the company's pipeline is already is expected,  by 2014, the availability - for the market - of a series of (always) disposable products and accessories which can be exclusively combined with Angiodroid's injector to render angiographic procedures with CO2 safer and more performing. 

The CO2 as a contrast medium in diagnostic imaging such as angiography is currently used by some of the leading operators of the global medical industry. However, their systems are still manual, i.e. the gas is injected through a hand-operated syringe which is connected to a kit of accessories.
Angiodroid has instead automated the process, making it independent from healthcare professionals, with the following advantages for the patient:
- The amount of contrast medium introduced into the vessels can be controlled within a circuit always maintained in positive pressure so as to prevent the introduction of air from the external environment, which might cause air embolism.
- The gas pressure during injection is kept constant, thus avoiding the risk of vessel rupture in the presence of obstructive aneurysm and pain for the patient.
- The amount of gas introduced can be modulated with precision in order to optimize the
filling of the vessel and improve the obtained image quality. 

All of these elements will help to impose Angiodroid worldwide on the highly competitive market of medical devices (watch here the Youtube video of Angiodroid).

Founded by two brothers, Sebastian Zannoli (current Angiodroid's CEO as well as CEO of SparkBio, incubator specializing in medical companies ) and Samuel Zannoli (software development manager), Angiodroid already has at its disposal a team of five young, strong and well structured people which in addition to the founders, are distributed in a balanced way in the R&D, business development, marketing, sales departmentsThe incubation path of has generated costs - said Zannoli "ranging from 300 thousand to 500 thousand euro, result of SparkBio, which kept us away from debts and credit lines. Instead of working with a margin of 2-3% on other people's projects we decided to do something for ourselves".

Angiodroid Srl is based in San Lazzaro in the province of Bologna and has already established important relationships with various hospitals of the peninsula including the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan and the Policlinico di Monza, with technical partners for the production of the medical device and pertaining consumer products as well as business partners for the distribution. The developed technology has already been certified and is protected by patent in Italy and in main countries in which the company intends to operate commercially .

IAG was founded in 2007 and today counts more than 100 members. It focuses on investment opportunities in innovative Italian and international startups by investing between €300,000 and EUR €800,000 on each deal. Overall, IAG's members represent a capital commitment of more than €20 million and have already invested €8.5 million in 32 investment rounds spread over 22 companies, including Spreaker, Stereomood, ProxToMe, Biogenera, S5Tech, Eugea, WINMedical, Sedici Dodici, Agroils, Ohikia, MARGHERITA FingerGuard.

IAG's Business angels currently have three other medical startups in portfolio
  1. MARGHERITA FingerGuard (€ 350,000 invested in September 2012. The company produces patented device aimed at simplifying the operation of disposing used needles, preventing the risk of accidental injury in a smart and safe way).
  2. Sedici Dodici (€900,000 invested in May 2012. The company operates in the oncological space and concepts innovative solution for cancer treatments) and
  3. WINMedical srl (€600,000 co-investment with SICI - Tuscany Innovation Fund - which invested €200,000. The company produces a biomedical device that allow wireless remote monitoring of patients suffering from chronic pathologies or temporary need for medical supervision), all founded in Italy by researchers, engineers, innovators Italian.