NERv Technology Inc., an innovative med-tech venture co-founded by a number of University of Waterloo alumni, has secured CDN$1-million 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 United States. These patients are especially susceptible to a post-surgical complication known as anastomotic, or gastrointestinal leak. This complication can arise, on average, in eight per cent of patients and results in the deaths of at least 13,000 patients annually in the U.S. 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. Leakage affects more than 100,000 patients who go through surgery every year in the U.S. 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,” said Youssef Helwa, NERv Technology Inc. co-founder and CEO. “If we manage to just save one patient’s life, then we will feel like our efforts were worthwhile.”

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,” said Dr. Rezende Neto, General and Trauma Surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

NERv has raised under CDN$1-million 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 several 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, Lead Scientist.

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Communitech is a partner of Startup HERE Toronto.  This article originally appeared on their site.