Oost NL, as manager of Topfonds Gelderland, and NextGen Ventures are investing in an innovative method of healing chronic wounds.
Plasmacure is a bandage designed to close long-term wounds that have difficulty healing. The innovation both lowers healthcare costs as well as rapidly enhances the patient’s mobility. The first tests with this bandage are positive: the majority of patients show visible results. It is expected that the Plasmacure will be available at chronic wound centers and hospitals.
The eponymous company has its research and development facilities at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. Clinical research and eventual sales will take place in the city of Nijmegen. Oost NL, which targets results-oriented, accessible and affordable healthcare for its investments, has taken a share in Plasmacure along with the venture capital company NextGen Ventures.
Bas Zeper, CEO and founder of Plasmacure, says, "The series A financing provided by Oost NL and NextGen Ventures will allow us to bring our innovative product to the market. Making new medical discoveries is great, but if the product isn’t able to make a successful market launch, you can’t help patients. And that’s what it’s all about: we want to provide patients with a better quality of life."
Chronic wounds are suffered by up to a half-million residents of the Netherlands. By some 200,000 of them, the wound has been open for more than 12 weeks. These patients have an increased risk of infection. With wounds on the feet the prognosis can be even worse, leading to amputations. Treating those with persistently open wounds costs the Dutch healthcare budget a good €2 billion. Because of the aging population and an increase in diabetes patients, the number of patients is expected to rise 6% annually.
The ‘bandage’ is actually an atmospheric cold plasma pad. Cold plasma is created by adding energy to oair. The plasma kills bacteria, stimulates cell growth, and increases circulation, which are three factors that wounds require in order to heal. Healing the wound is achieved by placing the pad on the wound for only one minute per day. The idea of using cold plasma technology as a technique for healing wounds came about as a result of research at the University of Eindhoven. The ‘pulser,’ which generates the plasma, is a collaborative development from Plasmacure and Relitech BV (Nijkerk). The pads will be produced by KeyTec BV (Sittard).
The primary reason for Oost NL to invest in Plasmacure was that it makes healthcare more affordable. Pieter Rhemrev, manager of the business unit Capital at Oost NL, says, "Plasmacure is a very handy, takes very little time to apply and is painless. It clearly advances the quality of life for the patient. With this investment we are promoting result-oriented healthcare and helping an innovative company in Gelderland to develop."
Oost NL is investing in Plasmare together NextGen Ventures and a group of informal investors primarily from East Netherlands who have formed a cooperative named Credenti BV. NextGen Ventures is a fund built primarily on investments by the healthcare insurers Menzis and Friesland Zorgverzekeraar.