Symphysis Medical

Tim Jones
Tim Jones

Tim Jones, Symphysis Medical

Creating patient-centric solutions for palliative care to improve patient independence and quality of life.

What problem are you solving and what is innovative about your approach?

SymPhysis Medical are developing a novel catheter-based technology, releaze, to treat one of the most common complications of late-stage cancers, ‘fluid on the lung’. ‘Fluid on the lung’ causes significant shortness of breath and chest pain in half of all patients with metastatic cancer. The goal of treatment for ‘fluid on the lung’ is to relieve patients’ breathlessness and provide them with an improved quality of life.

SymPhysis Medical have identified an ‘active’ catheter-based technology that prevents the fluid from reaccumulating after 4 weeks and have matched this with a user-centric design that gives patients more independence by allowing them to treat themselves at home. Current catheter-based solutions are associated with unpredictable and slow treatment durations, with many patients draining multiple times a week for up to 12 months. The lengthy treatment period negatively impacts patients’ quality of life at their end-of-life stage and is associated with significant healthcare costs. Furthermore, with current systems less than 3% of patients can perform the drainage procedure alone and depend on carer/family members. releaze is specifically designed to provide patients with autonomy in their symptom management at home, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce clinic/hospital visits.

How is this idea commercially attractive?

Approximately, 625,000 patients with cancer suffer from ‘fluid on the lung’ every year across the US and Europe. The total addressable market opportunity (US and Europe) associated with this clinical need is $1.2 billion, and the chest drainage market has a CAGR of 6.7% (2017-2025) which will almost double the size of the device market over 8 years.

SymPhysis Medical was co-founded by Dr. Michelle Tierney and Tim Jones after they identified ‘fluid on the lung’ as an undermet clinical area during the BioInnovate Fellowship in 2017/2018. The Fellowship provided the team with an opportunity to work closely with doctors and patients in the respiratory field and the team have maintained these close collaborations throughout the design and development process of releaze. Currently the team are based in the TMD lab in NUIG and aim to spin out from the university in 2021.

What do you hope to achieve by participating in Big Ideas?

SymPhysis Medical have just opened their seed investment round and Big ideas provides the ideal platform from which to showcase our technology and create new opportunities with peer entrepreneurs.