[00:00 – 03:24] Souvik
Nine years ago, my sister-in-law Carina sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident. As she began her rehab, I learned that people with SCI would rather improve their bladder function than be able to walk again. That’s why I started Aurie. My name is Souvik Paul and our mission at Aurie is to prevent life-threatening infections for intermittent catheter users.
Carina is one of 600,000 people in the US who need to use six to eight single-use intermittent catheters a day. These catheters are basically plastic straws with holes on either end. To use them, users go into the bathroom, insert the catheter into the urethra and leave it in until urine stops flowing from the bladder. Afterwards, these catheters are removed and thrown away. And altogether, over $2 billion worth of catheters are purchased in the US every year.
The problem is that urinary tract infections are a leading cause of death for people with spinal cord injuries and other intermittent catheter users. There is a 50% annual chance of a severe complicated UTI due to the use of standard catheters. The average user experiences one to two UTIs a year, and an annual supply of these catheters is about $5,000. There are safer no-touch catheters that reduce infections by over 30% because of their insertion sleeves and introducer tips that reduce contact contamination. Because they cost almost $20,000 for an annual supply, they are covered for less than 7% of Medicare patients.
Aurie uses a tech-enabled approach to make intermittent catheterisation safer, more convenient and more sustainable. Our reusable no-touch catheters have the same features that help reduce UTIs, but are designed to be reused 100 times with our patented portable smart catheter case, which completely automates the cleaning, disinfection and lubrication of catheters with tap water and pre-packaged supplies.
When we surveyed catheter users, 81% wanted to switch to our system. Why? Because our system allows us to provide infection-reducing features of no-touch catheters at the same price point as standard catheters. We provide a cost-effective means to reduce urinary tract infections for our users.
We’ve demonstrated repeatable and robust disinfection efficacy with early prototypes at the University of Notre Dame. We’ve further developed the prototypes and are preparing for FDA submission in early 2024. We have four issued patents, one pending patent, and additional planned submissions. We have FDA sign-off on our testing strategy and the FDA has even granted us the Safer Technologies Designation after reviewing our early test data. We’re expecting expedited review once we do submit.
The team at Aurie has over 75 years of experience in healthcare, has commercialised 17 medical devices, and has sold over $50 million in durable medical equipment.
We have a broad coalition of support from investors like Lakehouse Ventures and grant-funders like the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Disabilities, all of whom believe in our mission.
We’re always looking to connect with like-minded investors and innovators. Join us in making infections and preventable death a thing of the past for catheter users.