Calgary’s Orpyx raises $7.6 million Series A to commercialize, develop shoe-based diabetes tech

Orpyx Medical Technologies, whose smart remote monitoring tech helps prevent diabetic foot ulcers, has closed a $7.6 million Series A round led by Paddock Capital, a Calgary-based investment firm.

“Orpyx is on the forefront of technology that enables preventative care.”

New and existing investors also participated in the round, including Aphelion Capital, Thin Air Labs, InterGen Capital, Relentless Venture Fund, ICM Asset Management, Anges Québec, Picante Capital, and Viewpoint Group. The investment brings Orpyx’s total funding to $18.5 million.

Orpyx plans to use the new funding to expand its North American commercialization efforts and accelerate the development of its technology. The company has also added Cory Paddock, Paddock Capital’s co-founder and managing director, to its board of directors.

“Our goal is to advance current standard of care to improve patient quality of life and mobility, while substantially decreasing healthcare costs,” said Breanne Everett, Orpyx’s CEO and co-inventor.

Calgary-based Orpyx Medical Technologies was founded in 2010. The startup develops digital therapeutics to prevent diabetic foot and other neuropathy-related ulcers (DFUs), using shoe-based sensor technology to help people with diabetes stay mobile.

“Orpyx’s product offering is well-timed with the increasing demand for telemedicine solutions that help serve people with diabetes,” said Paddock. “Orpyx is on the forefront of technology that enables preventative care that will not only prevent DFUs from occurring but will also decrease costs for the health system.”

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Earlier this year, Orpyx launched its flagship product, SI Sensory Insoles, which provides diabetic patients and those experiencing foot numbness with real-time feedback to help prevent DFUs. Orpyx’s system monitors the wearer’s foot pressure, temperature, and movement data via custom sensor-laden shoe insoles, sending audiovisual alerts and offloading instructions to smartphones and smartwatches when it detects a risk of foot injury.

“For the first time, we can provide sensory feedback through a simple user interface to provide real-time physiological data to the wearer,” said Everett. “Previously, this type of accuracy was only available in a research setting, but now it can be used in the real-world so patients and healthcare providers can collaborate to help prevent DFUs.”

Orpyx’s patented SI Sensory Insole system is registered with Health Canada and the US Food and Drug Administration.

The product launch followed the publication of a 2019 study in The Lancet Digital Health Journal that demonstrated “continuous plantar pressure monitoring and dynamic offloading guidance, provided by an innovative intelligent insole system, can lead to a reduction in diabetic foot ulcer site recurrence.” Compared to standard of care, the study found up to an 86 percent reduction in DFU recurrence with the use of smart insole tech.

According to the study, 25 percent of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers over their lifetime, and one in five of them experience complications that lead to amputation.

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Everett said other studies show patients with DFUs are seen in outpatient facilities 14 times and hospitalized 1.5 times per year.

Orpyx’s tech is also used by researchers in sports medicine, therapeutic applications, and footwear design because it enables access to clinical-grade plantar pressure data.

Last month, Orpyx announced it was partnering with another Calgary-based manufacturer, Fidelity Machine & Mould Solutions, to locally produce personal protective equipment (PPE).

“It is vital to increase PPE manufacturing capabilities within Alberta to decrease our dependence on imports and help our local economy,” said Everett. “Initially we will focus on supplying healthcare facilities and frontline workers, and as our production capacity grows, we will expand to consumers.”

Last year, Orpyx joined the first cohort of the Canadian Women in Tech Silicon Valley Program, and announced it was partnering with Alphabet subsidiary Onduo on a virtual diabetes program.

Image source Orpyx Medical Technologies via company website

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh is a journalist interested in telling Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.