BHV Partners, the first venture builder specialised in healthcare in Southern Europe, has launched the start-up Conus Airway, which will focus on developing and marketing innovative medical devices that improve anaesthesia and surgery of the respiratory tract.
The technological innovation provided by these devices was designed by Dr Carlos Gutiérrez, Head of the Paediatric Thoracic Surgery Department of the University and Polytechnic La Fe Hospital of Valencia (Spain), and transferred to Conus Airway. The transfer process involved the collaboration of the Research Results Transfer Office of the Health Research Institute Hospital La Fe.
They are the first medical devices to allow simultaneous endotracheal dilation and ventilation. They are designed to reduce the risks associated with respiratory tract surgery, to improve results in different areas such as a complex anaesthesia and narrowing of the respiratory system, to minimise the risk of cross-contamination between patients and medical staff, and to increase efficiency in managing this type of surgery.
Initially, Conus Airway will develop two devices aimed at treating tracheal and bronchial stenosis in children; treatments that require dilation and ventilation of the respiratory tract as a result of different malformations of the larynx or trachea, obesity, pregnancy, tracheal rupture or infectious diseases like Covid-19.
The global market for medical devices for airway management is growing. It is expected to reach $2.93 billion in 2025, with an annual growth rate of over 6%.
Dr Carlos Gutiérrez will assume the role of medical advisor to Conus Airway, while Dr Marta Príncep, co-founder and CEO of BHV Partners, will be chair of the board of directors, and Helena Arumí, expert venture builder at BHV Partners and expert in business development in the biomedical sector, will be Interim CEO. The initial management team will be completed by Raquel Llorens, senior researcher from the R&D department at AIMPLAS (Plastics Technology Centre), and Vicente Ruedas, senior engineer from the engineering department, who will act as technical advisors.
“It is really exciting to see that more than 30 years of experience as a paediatric thoracic surgeon has allowed us to develop intuitive and versatile medical devices to improve future results in different areas of respiratory illness; an area currently showing high levels of complication worldwide. We hope our technology will make management more efficient by combining several tools in a single device, becoming a powerful solution for the patient”, explains Dr Carlos Gutiérrez.
He also states that having a venture builder like BHV Partners “has been a real help in creating Conus Airway, as they have experience in biomedical entrepreneurship and a multidisciplinary team with skills that complement perfectly the scientific founding team”.
“BHV Partners is committed to helping convert the disruptive ideas of researchers into palpable innovation in healthcare. We invest in the initial phase and are involved throughout the entire life cycle of the start-ups, both in terms of specialised strategic knowledge and in operational management. We help them grow and open them up to rounds of seed, Series A and Series B investment, up to the sale of the therapeutic solution or the company”, explains Dr Marta Príncep.
“It is an honour to be involved as Interim CEO of Conus Airway, accompanied by the scientific excellence of Dr Carlos Gutiérrez, and to contribute to a technology that will be a turning point in the management of respiratory surgery. I am excited to be able to provide a corporate vision and to work on the business plan, organisational development and fundraising”, says Helena Arumí.
Conus Airway will set up its headquarters in the new La Marina international technology hub run by Biohub VLC.