MedTech firm a step closer to ending ‘Never Events’ after securing funding

George Gallagher and DoubleCHEK

Medical device company NasoGastric Feeding Solutions (NGFS), based at Liverpool Science Park, 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 has developed a device called DoubleCHEK to prevent the misplacement of feeding tubes into the lungs, inspired by founder George Gallagher who was hospitalised as a youngster.

The misplacement of a nasogastric tube into the lung is known as a ‘never event’ in the NHS, which means that it is wholly preventable if current national guidance is followed properly, but it is still surprisingly common.

Existing solutions are either too costly, too big to be compatible with all tube sizes, have accuracy problems discerning lung placement, or only provide information after the tube has been fully inserted.

DoubleCHEK enables clinicians to place tubes safely and quickly in any environment.

NGFS plans 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 help it to manufacture the device in the UK and initiate commercialisation beginning in the second quarter 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 comes at a difficult time for companies looking to raise funds and was made possible through ‘The Future Fund’ scheme, which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on April 20, 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 already provided more than £250m for firms across the country.

DoubleCHEK is the brainchild of George Gallagher, who was born with his esophagus 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 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.”