Israeli medical device startup Laminate Medical Technologies has announced a $8 million series-B financing round. The Tel Aviv based company, which has developed a blood vessel support device implanted in patients needing dialysis, has raised $13 million to date including this round.
Several European funds took part in the latest round, as well as the Chinese pharma giant Haisco. The company's existing investors are private investors, including Nava and Yehuda Zisapel, Zohar Gilon, Eri Steimatzky, Henit Vitos, Ari Raved, and a grant from the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry. Laminate was founded in 2012 by CEO Tammy Gilon, and Dr. Eyal Orion, and started out in the Rad-Biomed incubator.
The device developed by Laminate is intended for patients suffering from kidney failure and in need of dialysis, prior to which they have to have vascular access. The most common and preferred method is fistula operation in which a blood vessel connection is made between an artery and a vein, usually in the region of the wrist or the elbow. Two intravenous needles are inserted through this connection (to remove the patient's blood for filtration in the dialysis machine, and then return it). This connection is necessary to ensure a sufficiently high blood flow to transfer a large volume of blood: a vein cannot transfer the necessary volume, while the arteries are too deep for repeated insertion of a needle.
However, in more than half the cases a venous blockage forms because of the differences in pressure on the vein wall, to which the body responds by thickening the vein, which affects the blood flow during dialysis. The result is that the patient has to have a repeat operation, affecting the ability to give treatment and creating a burden on the hospital's resources.
The special device developed by Laminate, called VasQ, is a sleeve placed over the vein, creating an optimal geometric configuration with the artery and reducing the tension in the vein, thus allowing proper blood flow during dialysis. Research studies carried out to date indicate significant success with around 80% of patients.
VasQ has obtained CE approval, and is in the process of approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The device is already in use in a series of hospitals in Europe and in Israel (Sheba and Hadassah Ein Kerem), with impressive results.
Recently dozens of hospitals across Germany received additional funding to implement the VasQ after receiving the NUB statues 1 approval.
Gilon said, "The technique for fistula surgery has not changed since it was first performed in 1966. Given the high failure rate, a solution is needed that will prevent patients with kidney failure who are on dialysis from having to repeat the operation every few years, and in many cases even after a few months, which also affects their treatment. The current round will enable us to expand our activities in the European market, where we are already working successfully with leading hospitals in the UK, Switzerland, Italy and Germany, and at the same time complete clinical trials in the US and the FDA approval process. For this purpose, we are currently expanding our staff of experienced professionals in the field of medical devices, and opening a branch in the US."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 7, 2017
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