Symphysis Medical

The Unmet Need

Malignant Pleural Effusions (MPEs)

Independence | Comfort | Quality of Life
A common complication of late-stage cancers is the build-up of fluid in the chest cavity, known as a malignant pleural effusion (MPE), causing significant shortness of breath and chest pain.

For patients that manage the fluid at home they have an indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) inserted into the chest cavity that must be drained regularly and is often in place for a significant portion of their end-of-life stage.

IPCs are designed to manage the symptoms resulting from fluid build-up, however they are associated with very long (up to 12 months) and unpredictable treatment durations, acute hospital readmissions due to catheter-related complications, and challenges with patient use and comfort.


How Big is the Unmet Need?

MPE affects up to 50% of late-stage cancer patients. There are >200,000 new cases of MPE per year in the USA, and approximately 375,000 per year in Europe.


  • Patient Independence
  • Less Invasive
  • More Effective
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Cost Savings
  • Disruptive Technology


SymPhysis Medicalreleaze is a novel drainage catheter system that will be a significantly more effective and patient-friendly device for managing MPE in the home setting compared to current IPC devices. The technology will incorporate features that improve the functionality and the comfort/aesthetics of the device. A key aspect of the device’s design is to enable most patients to drain themselves

Patient independence

  • a patient friendly design that enables ‘one-handed’ drainage, thereby increasing patient independence and making IPC treatment accessible to more patients
  • provide patients with autonomy in their care through user-centric design and a mobile Health (mHealth) approach
  • limit the risks posed to vulnerable patients by reducing the time they spend in hospital

Less invasive

  • half the number of surgical incisions required for IPC insertion (from two to one) thanks to a unique anchoring system (how the catheter is secured under the skin)

More effective

  • actively prevent fluid reaccumulating within 30 days by using a unique 'active' technology, as opposed to up to 12 months with current IPCs
  • targeting an increase in the rate of pleurodesis from 50% to ≥70%

Environmentally friendly

  • releaze aims to use significantly less plastic materials than current devices

Cost savings

  • releaze is targeting 25% cost savings on home-related costs due to fewer drainage supplies and a reduced risk of catheter-related complications.

Disruptive technology

  • the second generation device, releaze+, will provide the first ever smart digitally-enabled IPC approach that improves patients quality of life and supports the patient at home.

Supported By

Enterprise Ireland
Translational Medical Device Lab