NasoGastric Feeding Solutions (NGFS), a medical device company headquartered in Liverpool, is one step closer to helping end an NHS ‘Never Event’ after securing £750,000 through a mix of private investment and matched funding from the British Business Bank’s Future Fund.
NGFS, an enteral access technology firm, has developed a device called DoubleCHEK which uses dual indicators, CO2 and pH, to prevent the misplacement of feeding tubes into the lungs. The misplacement of a nasogastric tube into the lung is known as a ‘never event’ in the NHS, which means that it is preventable if current national guidance is followed properly, but it is still common.
Existing solutions are either too costly, too big to be compatible with all tube sizes, have accuracy problems discerning lung placement, or provide information after the tube has been fully inserted. DoubleCHEK combines CO2 and pH indicators with a proprietary valving system to help clinicians place tubes safely and quickly in any environment. NGFS plan to produce additional medical devices over the next two years after receiving considerable interest from institutional investors.
The £750,000 of funding the company has secured will enable it to manufacture the device in the UK and initiate commercialisation beginning in Q2 of 2021. The investment will also be used to obtain FDA approval ahead of the US expansion being led by NGFS’s team in Chicago, Illinois.
The investment was made possible through ‘The Future Fund’ scheme, which was announced by the chancellor of the Exchequer on 20th April and provides match funding for companies securing investment during COVID-19. The aim is to provide additional financial support for promising companies so that they can continue growing despite the pandemic and has provided more than £250 million for firms across the country so far.
DoubleCHEK is the brainchild of George Gallagher, who was born with his oesophagus and trachea fused together, allowing food and/or stomach acid to enter the lungs. This was later corrected through surgery at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where nutrition he received through a nasogastric feeding tube was key to his recovery and went on to inspire his invention.
George Gallagher, CEO, NGFS, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding both from private investors and the British Business Bank during what is a difficult time for many early-stage companies. This vital support will help us to introduce DoubleCHEK to more hospitals both in the UK and USA and to save lives from an entirely preventable problem.”