NERv Technology Inc. continues building a future of safe surgeries with latest round of funding

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Physician-angel and VC firm fuel ongoing studies and product development.

NERv Technology Inc., an innovative medtech venture co-founded by a number of University of Waterloo alumni, has secured $1 million CAD in pre-seed funding. In partnership with a number of physician angel-investors, a hospital, and Sunhope Capital VC, this recent round of funding will help to cover the costs associated with preclinical studies and further development of their flagship post-operative sensory platform product.

Annually, 1.7 million patients undergo high-risk abdominal surgeries in the US. These patients are especially susceptible to a post-surgical complication known as anastomotic, or gastrointestinal leak. This complication can arise, on average, in 8% of patients and results in the death of at least 13,000 patients annually in the US. Current complication detection techniques are delayed, costly, reactive, and non-specific. 

The NERv sensory platform is designed to detect anastomotic leakage, or the leakage of content from within the gastrointestinal tract into the abdominal cavity after surgery. Anastomotic leaks often result in a cascade of complications that can lead to mortality and adverse outcomes for the survivors. It affects more than 100,000 patients who go through surgery every year in the United States. NERv’s patent-pending solution is capable of detecting leaks within minutes of incidence.

"We can't wait to get our product to market to have an impact on patients' outcomes post-operatively. If we manage to just save one patient's life, then we will feel like our efforts were worthwhile."
Youssef Helwa, NERv Technology Inc. Co-Founder and CEO

NERv recently completed the first phase of its preclinical studies, successfully detecting gastric, intestinal, urine, bile, and fecal matter. NERv will begin regulatory submissions and clinical studies and pilots in the upcoming months as the solution gets closer to commercialization.

“Once on the market, this device will sell like water.”
Dr. Rezende Neto, General and Trauma Surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital.  

Another surgeon mentioned that this would be incredibly valuable to all stakeholders involved, from patients to caregivers to healthcare institutions.

NERv has raised under $1 million CAD previously from non-dilutive sources/government grants. By working with world-renowned researchers, physicians, and institutions, NERv’s solution is capable of identifying gastrointestinal leaks that can arise after surgical procedures, within minutes of incidence. NERv's team combines clinical, engineering, quality and regulatory, and business experience, and has been diligently working for a few years to ensure the development of a solution that can help improve clinical outcomes.

NERv’s co-founding team includes Youssef Helwa, CEO, Amr Abdelgawad, COO, Abdallah El-Falou, CTO, and Mohammed Okasha. Youssef, Amr, and Abdallah are all University of Waterloo Alumni. Youssef earned his Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Nanotechnology Engineering in 2015 and his Master’s of Applied Science (MASc) Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2017. Amr earned his Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), Nanotechnology in 2015 as well, and his Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) in 2017. Amr is also the recipient of the 2017 Enactus Canada Student Entrepreneur award. Abdallah has a MASc in Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo and a BASc degree in Biomedical Engineering from Ryerson University. Mohamed earned his Honour’s Bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences from McMaster University.

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