One year after having received €3 million in aid under the PIA Investing-for-the-Future Program, i-SEP is continuing its momentum and has raised €2.5 million from its historical shareholder, Go Capital and the Breton crowdfunding platform Gwenneg. The Nantes-based Medtech is developing a intraoperative autotransfusion solution.
During surgery, the device collects blood lost by the patient, which is then mixed with other fluids, treated, concentrated and transfused back to the same patient. Autotransfusion systems currently available on the market can recover only blood cells, using a centrifugation process. Whereas, as explains Sylvain Picot, I-SEP founder and CEO, “We have developed a filtration system that also recovers platelets”. However, filters can quickly become saturated, especially with very rich fluids such as blood.
“The heart of our innovation is based on a tangential filtration system: the blood flow is parallel to the filtering membrane, which limits clogging” explains Sylvain Picot. A first effect that is reinforced by a membrane regeneration system, ensuring a good filtration flow. This innovative autotransfusion process can be expected to replace, as much as possible, the allogenic blood transfusions currently practiced, which pose risks of contamination and problems of availability of donor blood supply.
“The business strategy has not yet been formulated”
CE Marking expected for the end of 2020
i-SEP will use this new funding to launch a clinical trial on around 50 patients in early 2020, with a view to obtaining CE marking at the end of that year. “The study will be carried out in the context of cardiothoracic and orthopedic surgery, operations where the risk of bleeding is most frequent” explains the CEO, a seasoned entrepreneur, and the person who actually founded Biom’up (see front page), which he directed from 2005 to 2015. More interested in the innovation and technological maturation phases, Sylvain handed over the reins of Biom’up when it entered the commercial and internationalization phase. i-SEP is a story in the making: “There are two options: we can sell the machine and the consumables (note: in particular the filtration system) to hospitals or we can supply the machine for free and recoup our investment on the consumables”, explains Sylvain Picot, who still has ideas on the R&D front. While the recovering of platelets certainly represents a major step forward for the generalization of autotransfusion devices, other blood elements, such as certain proteins, are not conserved by the i-SEP system.
“At the moment, we don’t collect all blood components, but this could be a line of research for future versions of our device”.
Leila Nicolas: Investment Director at Go Capital
“We knew about i-SEP’s technology even before it was created, but we needed a CEO to run the company. It seemed appropriate to put Sylvain Picot, rich from his experience with Biom’up, in touch with Francis Gadrat, the inventor of the technology. i-Sep has the advantage of addressing a market already established, but with a positioning that sets it apart from competitors. Moreover, the device can be applied to a larger market, with a greater number of surgeries, but could also be of interest to other players outside hospitals, such as the Army, for field use. With Go Capital Amorçage I, we have invested in a fund that is now closed to new investors. Go Capital Amorçage II, its replacement, launched in 2017, has €74 million and we have already made 15 investments with the latter and our objective is to reach 25 to 30 lines. Healthcare – biotech, Medtech , and digital – accounts for more than 40% of our funding lines”.