A medical device company whose products help speed up the recovery from bowel cancer surgery has raised $4.3 million through an early stage capital raising.

Surgical Design Studios (SDS) was founded two years ago at the University of Auckland's Medical School department of surgery with help from MedTech CORE - a medical commercialisation arm funded by the Tertiary Education Commission and UniServices.

It has developed a range of medical devices that reduce the time it takes until patients can use their guts again following bowel surgery from five months to two weeks.

Greg O'Grady, co-founder and chief science officer at SDS, said its testing showed significant health benefits with reductions in clinical complications such as dehydration and infection.


"We have seen very exciting results in the recent trials conducted at Auckland City Hospital, with these products able to deliver improvements that are not achievable with current standard of care."

The company will use the funds raised to bring its devices to market, with plans to launch in New Zealand later this year, and then overseas once it gains regulatory clearances.

SDS raised the money through its first angel fundraising round which closed yesterday and was led by Icehouse Ventures fund Tuhua II.

The round also received investment from Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1, UniServices, Eden Ventures, and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.

SDS gained support after pitching its products at a demo day held last month by Icehouse Ventures' - the capital raising arm of business start-up support service The Icehouse.

Robbie Paul, chief executive of Icehouse Ventures, said so far SDS's capital raising had been the largest of those who pitched to the demo day with around $30m raised so far across 10 of the 12 companies.

That was well up on last year when the capital raised from companies pitching at its demo day raised just under $10m.

Paul put the growth down to the quality of companies with some being at a later stage in their development than previous years and support from offshore investors.


SDS chief Garth Sutherland, who joined the company in May, said the demo day had allowed it to access investors who would also lend their expertise to the company.

"We have attracted investors with domain knowledge and networks in the sector we are targeting, and their contribution will accelerate our business both locally and in export markets."