Sources inform ''Globes'' that orthopedics company Premia Spine Ltd. (formerly Impliant) has raised $7 million out of a $10 million financing round from new and current investors. Premia Spine develops and sells artificial lumbar plates for the spine.
The sources say that the company has NIS 5-8 million in sales, after two years on the market. The company is active in the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Israel.
Premia Spine raised $55 million when it was still called Impliant, but its investors (including Gemini Israel Ventures, Innomed Ventures, 7 Health Ventures, Advent International, and Radius Ventures) gave up on it, and it was sold for a few million dollars to an investor group headed by CEO Ron Sacher. The company was acquired from a receiver, and the previous shareholders have no stakes in it. The new consortium raised $10 million for the company before the current financing round.
The previous financing round made possible a clinical trial in the US to test the product on more than 60 patients over three years. The study compared the product to classic lumbar spinal fusion. Two weeks ago, results were obtained which showed that the product was better than classic lumbar spinal fusion on endpoints, including leg pain, back pain, and general functioning, according to the company.
The product does not yet have marketing approval in the US, and Premia Spine is preparing a larger clinical trial, which should be the last study before sales. It believes that it can begin the trial in early 2015, and that the current financing round can finance it. The company will also use the proceeds to expand its business in Europe by hiring more sales reps, and it hopes to begin sales in Asia in 2015 on the basis of the results of the current study.
Sacher said in the past that the company's previous investors were too focused on the US market, and that the strategy to concentrate on that market failed because of the 2008 economic crisis combined with the stricter regulations for medical devices that came into effect at the same time. When he acquired the company, it refocused on Europe and Asia, and is only now preparing a costly study in the US.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 29, 2014
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