Yokne'am-based Vibrant, which has developed a non-drug vibrating capsule for treating chronic constipation has announced that it has raised $7.5 million in a financing round led by US venture capital firm Unorthodox Ventures. So far, the company has raised a total of $25 million, from venture capital firm Sequoia, among other investors.
Vibrant CEO Lior Ben-Tsur says that 15% of the population suffer from chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Some of them can relieve the problem by consuming food high in dietary fiber or with over-the-counter drugs, but for some these products do not help, and the solution is usually through prescription drugs that can have unpleasant side effects, among them uncontrollable bowel movements. A belt was developed in the past for constipation sufferers that would give the stomach a constant massage, but it was not commercially successful, probably because of its inconvenience. It nevertheless demonstrated that such an approach could be effective.
Vibrant's capsule is swallowed when needed and mechanically stimulates contraction of the bowel which, according to the company, is gentle and not very uncomfortable. The result, the company says, is a non-drug solution for use as needed that simulates the natural action of the bowel, with a tolerable physical sensation.
The treatment has been undergoing clinical trials vis-à-vis with the US Food and Drug Administration, and the company estimates that the current trial will be the last before the product goes on sale. In previous trials, the product was found to be well tolerated and effective.
Austin, Texas-based Unorthodox Ventures combines financial investment with mentoring services, and employs a team of experts in a range of areas such as engineering, marketing, logistics, and customer service, to help entrepreneurs leverage their companies in the global marketplace, particularly in the US. The firm was founded in 2017.
Unorthodox Ventures founder and owner Carey Smith has joined Vibrant's board of directors. The investment in Vibrant is the firm's second in an Israeli company. It previously invested in Lumen, which has developed a device for measuring and improving the metabolism. The firm is represented in Israel by Yechiel Lanzkron.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 29, 2021
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