Endo Tools Therapeutics finds its roots in a research project « Endomina » funded by the Walloon Region (First spin-off project, convention n° 041/5721). Project started in 2003 when Prof. Jacques Devière (Professor of gastro-enterology at the Erasme Hospital in Brussels) and Alain Delchambre (Professor of Mechanics in the Faculty of Engineering of ULB) met to develop a digestive endoscopy station, with the objective of increasing the therapeutic possibilities in gastro-enterology. This led to the filing of a patent in June 2004 and to the Endomina project (2004-2008).
Endomina is in the continuation of the trends of digestive endoscopy, which started from simple therapeutic endoscopy and evolved towards more complex therapeutic endoscopy, requiring triangulation (Endomina project).
A triangulation system (“intervention using 2 hands”) is necessary in the digestive system because the gastroenterologist is currently limited by the possibilities of existing therapeutic endoscopes: they only have one therapeutic channel, in the direction of the vision, making it impossible for the gastroenterologist to move the tool without moving its point of view. The triangulation system allows 2 instruments to have a variable angle between each other, just like the angle made by the human arms. It allows to make the necessary moves for a stitch or to lift a tissue to improve the vision on a wound. That is a major step towards a real transoral surgery.
The prototype developed during the research phase within ULB demonstrated the feasibility of such an instrument and the potential range of therapeutic applications (treatment of superficial tumors, obesity, gastro-esophagian reflux, transluminal endoscopical surgery). This prototype exposed the therapeutic potential of such an instrument for endoscopical surgery as well as the development journey left before the first human tests.
At the end of the research project, the 3 founders (Prof. Jacques Devière, Prof. Alain Delchambre and Nicolas Cauche) created a spin-off : Endo Tools Therapeutics sprl. It was later turned into a “société anonyme” in January 2009 when the ULB investment fund (Theodorus) entered in the capital of the company. In March 2011, the investment fund Sambrinvest also entered in the capital of the company, followed by private investors in 2013 and the SFPI in 2016.