For many smart is not the first thing to cross the mind when you hear it in the same sentence with the words “spinal tap”, many thanks to the movie parody “This is spinal tap (1984)”. For medical professionals, however, the upcoming smart needle will perhaps make a permanent change for the better.
Injeq Oy (Ltd), a Finland based medical technology company, is moving forward in bringing the smart Injeq IQ-Needle™ to the European medical device markets. The company has today announced a share issue, where shares can be subscribed on the crowdfunding platform Invesdor.
“Many of our previous owners are physicians or dentists by profession which to us has always enforced that we are solving a real and worthwhile problem. Solving this problem also establishes a base for business and we are happy to now offer a larger crowd an opportunity to join us in the next phase of bringing the smart needle to everyday healthcare,” says Kai Kronström, CEO.
The lumbar puncture or “spinal tap” is a rare operation for most, but it is not uncommon in hospitals. For example in the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), which is the most common cancer type diagnosed in children, the medication will be injected in the spinal channel during a lumbar puncture. The treatment for ALL usually lasts for 30 months, during which time around 20 punctures are performed on the patient. Each puncture is a demanding procedure, because the tip of the needle must be inserted precisely into the spinal canal. If the needle is inserted even slightly too far, it can cause bleeding, which would allow cancer cells to enter the spinal canal, lessening the patient’s chances of recovery.
The unique tissue identification functionality of Injeq IQ-Needle™ introduces new standard level for both security and success, because it immediately alerts as the needle tip reaches its target; the spinal fluid. Thus the puncture is not done too deep and unnecessary tissue damage can be avoided.
The Injeq smart needle products have been used in clinical patient trials and their good performance has been reported e.g. in the Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing. A lumbar puncture study with pediatric patients started in 2016 and is today proceeding at two university hospitals in Tampere and Turku. New funding will allow the company to keep pace in go-to-market activities and to expand clinical studies to leading hospitals in Sweden, Norway and Denmark during autumn2017.
The Smart Needle production is based in Tampere, Finland. Production is an essential element enabling the completion of final tests required for regulatory approval and the supply of needles both for research and commercial use. “We are now in a situation where the design has been completed and we are ready to start production very quickly and make a first market entry in children’s hospitals. We have a unique product fulfilling an unmet clinical need,” says Kai Kronström, CEO.
The initial market focus is in European Children’s Hospitals. Commercial deliveries are expected to take place during the first half of 2018.
The share issue is implemented through the equity crowdfunding service provided by Invesdor at https://www.invesdor.com/en/