Nyxoah, which has developed a solution for obstructive sleep apnea, reports raising $20 million. The company was established by Robert Taub, founder of Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, which was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $438 million in 2008. While Nyxoah was founded in Belgium, its R&D activity is situated in Israel and employs 15 out of the company's staff of 25. Taub is Nyxoah's CEO, in addition to being an investor and co-founder.
Nyxoah's new investors in this current round are Glide Healthcare from Holland (which financed 55% of the deal) and SWIR from Belgium. Novallia also participated by providing Nyxoah with a loan of unknown value. All of the company's prior investors participated in the round, including Taub himself and other private investors, among them Uwe Wascher, a former senior GE executive, and Jürgen Hambrecht, who, until recently, was chairman of BASF. Taub invested about $8 million out of the $26 million raised up until the current round.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which, during sleep, the lax tongue and palate block the airways. The obstruction causes the patient to awaken numerous times during the night and affects not only sleep quality but the person's general health, becoming a risk factor for heart and blood vessel diseases. Nyxoah's product is implanted under the patient's chin, stimulating nerves responsible for triggering the tongue muscle. The stimulation causes the tongue to contract in a way that prevents it from blocking the airways.
The company has completed product design and is now preparing to launch clinical trials in the first quarter of 2018. The amount raised is unusually large for a company at such an early stage, but Taub's Belgian connections and his record helped Nyxoah raise a significant sum. These funds will be used for clinical trials (on humans), which, the company claims, will pave the way for marketing approval. The company is currently developing a second generation product.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 4, 2016
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