Having successfully completed clinical trials, Pasadena, NL-based medtech company Swiftsure Innovations has raised a $2.3 million seed funding round, led by Pelorus VC.

Founded three years ago by intensive care unit nurse Deanne McCarthy, Swiftsure is developing medical devices that aim to improve oral care solutions for critically ill patients on ventilator systems. The company is now planning for further trials and to roll out its product in the U.S. market.

As well as Pelorus, which oversees the Venture NL fund, the investors in the round included the all-female funding group Sandpiper Ventures and pan-Canadian consortium MEDTEQ+, as well as others.  In November 2021, the company raised a $1.05 million pre-seed round from an investment group that included Threshold Impact, Killick Capital, Pluto Investments, Pelorus and Sandpiper.

“We are delighted to continue to support Swiftsure and their mission to improve ventilated patient outcomes,” said Pelorus Partner Sarah Murphy. “The team has strategically used past funding to make rapid progress towards commercialization and clinical proof of concept. As an ICU nurse, Deanne has considerable real-life experience with the problem Swiftsure is addressing, and it shows in how quickly this team has moved from ideation to commercial ready.”

McCarthy started work on Swiftsure three years ago after observing the problems created by endotracheal tubes, which are used in hospital ventilators and can cause patients to contract pneumonia.

The company’s new product is SwishKit, which it describes as the first and only safe method of washing and suctioning the oral cavity in mechanically ventilated patients. Medical teams can insert the device into a patient’s mouth and it uses saline to rinse and wash out the oral cavity. It also suctions up water, loosened secretions and organic materials that would otherwise have remained in the mouth.

Swiftsure just completed clinical use validation trials at the Cleveland Clinic. Vice-President of Marketing Glenn Hanner in an email declined to reveal the results of the trials because the company has applied to present them at the largest anesthesia conference in the U.S.

“However, I can say that the results are positive, and we are moving forward with our second clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic,” said Hanner. “Our next trial will look at bacterial reduction in the oral cavity and will compare standard of care oral hygiene and SwishKit patients.”

He added that funds from the seed round will be used to launch the SwishKit in the U.S,, fund a bacterial reduction pilot study, and grow the team to support the early adopters. Swiftsure now employs five people and has “a deep bench” of consultants and contractors, he said.

Said McCarthy about the latest round: “This funding provides us with capital to commercialize SwishKit, our innovative oral care solution for intubated patients. It also funds our bacterial reduction study that follows our successful first use clinical trial.”