Start-up raises $2.6m to help reduce pain of kidney dialysis

The device developed by Advent Access, helmed by CEO Peh Ruey Feng, provides a "guide door" for dialysis needles to enter and access blood from a consistent position, angle and depth, reducing wear and tear on the vein.
The device developed by Advent Access, helmed by CEO Peh Ruey Feng, provides a "guide door" for dialysis needles to enter and access blood from a consistent position, angle and depth, reducing wear and tear on the vein.ST FILE PHOTO

Advent Access to commercialise device easing access to veins, reducing complications from long-term treatment

A home-grown medical technology start-up has raised $2.6 million to commercialise a device that will make kidney dialysis safer and less painful.

Advent Access, a company spun off from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), has developed a device called the av-Guardian that allows for easier access to veins and reduces complications from long-term dialysis treatment.

The company's latest investment round was led by Temasek-linked medical device company Accuron MedTech, a Singapore-headquartered firm with a core focus in urology devices and services.

Advent Access founder and chief executive Peh Ruey Feng said end-stage renal disease - more commonly called kidney failure - is among the most expensive chronic diseases to manage.

This is made worse by the extra big needles used to draw large amounts of blood in and out of the body at every dialysis session.

If the needles are not well placed, complications can arise and dialysis inadequately performed.

The company's device helps solve this issue by providing a "guide door" for dialysis needles to enter and access blood from a consistent position, angle and depth. This reduces wear and tear on the vein, with the potential to reduce hospitalisation and surgery.

Dr Peh said research on the device was funded internally through A*Star grants before the company was spun off in 2015. Advent Access has since completed its first clinical study with patients in Singapore.

"This latest funding round will be used mainly to complete our regulatory submissions and approvals," he added. "We have also started an international study, which is the last hurdle to cross before our regulatory submissions are put in and the product can be made available to the market."

The company is working towards filing for CE mark registration within the next 18 months - a major milestone in making the device available to patients globally.

Mr Abel Ang, the group chief executive of investor Accuron MedTech, said the device has the potential to "disrupt and transform kidney dialysis".

"Advent Access is really one of the top medical device companies in Singapore. We see this as a great opportunity to take devices which can make a mark on the world stage into markets like the US and Europe.

"Many small companies face challenges in this area and we are able to help them access those markets."

The investment was made through the Med Tech Alliance, an accelerator appointed by Spring Seeds Capital to facilitate the growth of start-ups in the local medtech industry.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'Start-up raises $2.6m to help reduce pain of kidney dialysis'. Print Edition | Subscribe