Vic govt backs local medtech pioneer with $2m investment

Breakthrough Victoria has invested $2 million in Cyban, a Melbourne-based medtech startup pioneering a way to monitor brain oxygen levels without invasive surgery.

The investment through the state’s $2 billion innovation fund forms part of the company’s $6.3 million Series A funding round, announced by the government and St Vincent’s Hospital on Monday.

Other major investors in the ground-breaking technology included Canberra-headquartered Significant Early Venture Capital and InterValley Ventures, which is based out of Melbourne.

Cyban founder Barry Dixon. Image: St Vincent’s Hospital

The startup’s patented Brain Pulse Monitor, currently under development, is designed to allow doctors and nurses to continuously monitor brain oxygen levels in patients who have sustained a brain injury.

The device uses external receptors that are placed on the patient’s head to collect information, replacing the need to insert a probe into a patients’ brain, which requires surgery.

The company plans to use the Series A investment to obtain regulatory approval in both Australia and the US and begin manufacturing the medical devices in Victoria.

“The investment from Breakthrough Victoria will help bring our brain monitoring technology to market faster and achieve our goal of advancing the way brain injuries are detected and managed all around the world,” founder Dr Barry Dixon said.

According to the Victorian government, Cyban is currently completing its US Food and Drug Administration submission. It expects use at major US hospitals to follow FDA clearance in 2024.

The company is also conducting clinical trials in several Melbourne hospitals, including St Vincent’s, where Dr Dixon works as a clinician in the intensive care unit.

Other hospitals trialing the tech include The Alfred, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Ballarat Hospital in Victoria, the Royal Edinburgh Infirmary in Scotland, and Cleveland Clinic Ohio in the US.

Cyban expects to take on 50 new staff over the next four years, though it is unclear if this is the result of the new funding. The company was also awarded a grant through the state’s Medtech Manufacturing Capability Program in August.

Victoria’s Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas, who was the first to announce the funding, said the investment will take the technology “step closer to breaking into international markets”.

Breakthrough Victoria chief executive Grant Dooley said Cyban has the “potential to scale globally with its breakthrough medical device that helps save lives and reduce the cost of hospital care”.

As many as 27 million cases of traumatic brain injuries are reported around the world every year, according to the government. It is the second most costly health condition globally after cardiovascular disease.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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