After a relatively lean year, the past two weeks have brought two major venture capital financing rounds in the biomed sector. Vascular Dynamics, a Rainbow Medical fund portfolio company, today announced that it had raised $17 million, one week after Chiasma raised $33.5 million.
Rainbow Medical was joined in the round by US fund Medfocus, Swiss fund HBM Healthcare Investments, and other investors.
Like all of Rainbow Medical's portfolio companies, Vascular Dynamics was founded within the fund on the basis of an idea devised by serial entrepreneur Yossi Gross. The company has raised $30 million to date. Bob Stern, Vascular Dynamics's president and CEO, was president of Micrus Endovascular, which developed a device for the treatment of strokes and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson.
Vascular Dynamics's product is designed for treatment of hypertension that cannot be treated with drugs. The product, a stent implanted via a catheter into the cerebral arteries that carry blood to the brain, affects bar-receptors that send signals to the brain and influence blood pressure. When the baro-receptors do not function properly, the brain receives incorrect signals that cause hypertension. The stent changes the internal structure and current within the artery to make the baro-receptors more accurate, thereby improving blood pressure regulation.
The product is in clinical trials in the US and Europe. Stern says, "Most of the patients in the trial have shown good results. We believe that the current financing round will enable us to successfully finish the clinical program in Europe and the US."
Vascular Dynamics was selected in 2012 as one of nine companies to participate in a unique pilot initiated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test the viability of products in the early development stages in order to encourage rapid development of trailblazing solutions in the medical equipment sector.
A huge trial of a promising product of Medtronic for treatment of severe hypertension failed last year, after Medtronic acquired the technology for almost $1 billion. The acquisition highlights the importance of this segment, which the failure has left open until the problems that plagued the unsuccessful product are solved.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 8, 2015
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