International medical companies are circling NZ medical device startup KM Medical Ltd and managing director Richard McCulloch couldn’t be happier.
“Medical devices aren’t like other inventions,” he says. “You can’t just go straight to manufacture without certification to FDA (US) and CE (Europe) regulatory compliance. And that comes at a huge cost.”
After five years of work, Auckland-based KM Medical has developed technology for a platform providing automated delivery of resuscitation and ventilation.
IP specialists AJ Park have ensured the Intellectual Property is protected by international patents and their strength can be gauged by the recent granting of both Chinese and Russian patents.
The platform features world-leading technology, making it far smaller, lighter, more power-efficient, and lower-cost than other respiratory solutions.
The first product to be developed from the platform will be a Neonatal Resuscitator and Transport Ventilator and McCulloch is particularly excited about bringing it to market:
• Over 10 million newborns worldwide each year require resuscitation assistance.
• Over 1 million newborns die annually from complications of birth asphyxia.
• Over 2 million newborns who receive respiratory assistance will suffer from bronchopulmonary dysplasia as a major long-term pulmonary complication.
“The public health benefits are immense,” he says, “and when we complete our investment round we’ll have funding to attain regulatory compliance certification, commercialise the Neonatal Resuscitator and start saving newborns’ lives.”
A market validation study by a leading European Medical Market Research company has confirmed a market opportunity of US$640 million over 10 years for the Neonatal Resuscitator alone, excluding all other platform applications.
Representatives for a group of medical investors in India recently visited Auckland and KM Medical has opened discussions with potential investors in Europe, the UK, and the USA – including some of the world’s largest medical manufacturers.
However, Richard McCulloch is talking investment, not acquisition: “We’d like to keep it Kiwi, but we do need to partner with big companies like these so we can commercialise our technology.”
Asked about plans to take the company public, he is cautious. “I won’t say it hasn’t been discussed,” he said, “but we don’t have a timetable, as yet.”