Israeli startup BioProtect, which has developed a bio-absorbable polymer spacer balloon platform for protecting patients during prostate cancer treatment, has announced the final closing of its $25 million Series D equity financing round. An unnamed strategic investor and Peregrine Ventures have joined Almeda Ventures and Vincent Tchenguiz, chairman of Consensus Business Group, Korea's KB Investments and Triventures, who invested $13 million in the first part of the round announced in January.
The company says that the latest funds will finance the ongoing multicenter FDA clinical trial of BioProtect's lead product, the ProSpace balloon spacer, which protects prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. The latest investment will also be used for the expansion of the technology platform.
BioProtect says that the ProSpace balloon spacer helps reduce radiation therapy risks by pushing the prostate away from the rectum, which is at risk during the therapy. Once injected the spacer offers physicians a consistent gap of over 1.5 centimeters, which is visible under trans rectal ultrasound as well as CT. The spacer remains stable during radiation therapy and is gradually absorbed after radiation therapy is completed.
BioProtect's future pipeline could have additional applications for cervical cancer radiation therapy, pancreas radiation and general surgery. The versatility and physician appeal of a bio-absorbable polymer balloon spacer was further validated last year when a BioProtect spinout for musculoskeletal applications, Orthospace, was acquired by Stryker for a reported $220 million.
BioProtect CEO Gil Rosen said, "This financing will allow the company to complete the pivotal study, gain FDA approval, and accelerate development of the next indication to our platform."
He added, "During the pandemic, and possibly even more so after the pandemic, there will be pressure on radiation oncology providers to shorten the treatment cycle without compromising safety and cancer control: first, in order to minimize the number of visits and with them pandemic risks to the patients, and later once the pandemic subsides, the back-log of low risk patients that delayed their treatment will be significant. We hope to provide an important enabling tool to these providers and patients. Innovation in radiation therapy platforms enabling larger-dose radiation fractions to be delivered in fewer sessions received significant validation via new guidelines of the main societies, ASTRO, ASCO, and the AUA, and BioProtect hopes to support these patients.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 22, 2020
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