Making it Work

Irish medtech star Pumpinheart to raise €5 million in seed funding

Pumpinheart, which hopes to establish a primary base in Galway, is developing a device aimed at addressing diastolic heart failure

Donald Hickey, chief executive of Pumpinheart, is hoping to raise funds to bring the company’s product to market. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Pumpinheart, a medtech start-up based between Dublin and Galway, expects to raise a €5 million seed funding round later this year. The investment will fine tune its technology designed to help people with heart failure.

The business was founded by Dr Aamir Hameed, Dr Andrew Malone, Dr Darragh Colgan, and Donald Hickey in 2022. It has raised €100,000 in pre-seed funding and is based between Dublin and Galway.

Pumpinheart is developing a device aimed at addressing diastolic heart failure. The finished product will be roughly the size of a AAA battery, the type you’d put in your TV remote control, and will be inserted into the left aorta.

Fact File

Founded by: Dr Aamir Hameed, Dr Andrew Malone, Dr Darragh Colgan, and Donald Hickey in 2022

Staff: four

Funding: €100,000

“With diastolic heart failure, also known as HPpEF, the prognosis is grim. These patients face the remainder of their lives [being] frequently hospitalised before dying. We are developing a device that will allow a patient to be treated with an overnight stay before returning home to live a healthy and active life,” Hickey said.

“It’s a tiny pump, it is implanted inside the main ventricle of the heart via a catheter.”

To date, the business has done testing as far as in animals with a larger scaled version of the device. This product is about the size of a AA battery, the size typically used in a games console controller or alarm clock.

With the funding, the business plans to scale it down to the size aimed for use in humans. It plans to begin the process for human trials within 12 months and get the core product onto the market within a few years after that.

Vital support

Pumpinheart is supported by Enterprise Ireland and Hickey said the agency had been a huge help.

“Enterprise Ireland provided initial financial support for the research along with the competitive start fund assistance. In addition, they have provided us with significant advisory help,” he said.

The company has also been involved in the MedTech Innovator accelerator in Los Angeles, the largest accelerator in the sector in the world.

“It’s an international programme with companies from all over the world. Ireland is extremely well represented, particularly in comparison to other European nations,” Hickey said.

As the technology develops, the company aims to set up its primary base in Galway due to the strength of the medtech scene there. The first tests however will be in the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan.

“The Aga Khan University is significant in our history as it is where Dr Aamir Hameed studied medicine before he went on to invent this device,” Hickey said.

This Making It Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland