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 15% of late-stage cancer, rising to 35% in patients with lung cancer. There are >200,000 new cases of MPE per year in the USA, and approximately 375,000 per year in Europe.



About SymPhysis MedicalRelEase is a novel drainage catheter system that will be significantly more effective and a more patient-friendly device for managing MPE in the home setting compared to current IPC devices.

RelEase is a minimally-invasive technology that incorporates a unique, active component designed to accelerate treatment, thus providing shorter and more predictable treatment durations.

RelEase incorporates a unique anchoring system that eliminates the need for an invasive tunnelling procedure currently carried out with IPCs.

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.

Supported By

Enterprise Ireland
Translational Medical Device Lab