NinePoint Medical (Cambridge, Massachusetts) is reporting that it has completed $34 million in a Series B funding round. The round is being led by Corning (Corning, New York), along with founding investors Third Rock Ventures and Prospect Venture Partners. The company also reported the addition of three new members to its board of directors: Curt Weinstein from Corning, and independent directors Tom Miller and Mark Stautberg.
NinePoint has developed the Nvision VLE imaging system - which the funding will help support. Proceeds from the financing will support the ongoing commercial launch of the NvisionVLE Imaging System in the U.S., as well as development of the company's expanded product offering.
"First and foremost [this funding] is going to allow us continue to expand our commercial efforts, expand our salesforce and our marketing teams; and help us expand our operational capacity to meet demand both for the console, the hardware, as well as the disposable," Charles Carignan, MD, president/CEO of NinePoint Medical told Medical Device Daily.
He noted that the funding would also help with ongoing research and development of the device.
NinePoint Medical's NvisionVLE Imaging System enables physicians and pathologists to endoscopically view real-time, high-resolution, volumetric images of organs and tissues up to 3 mm deep at better than 10 micron resolution. Utilizing an advanced form of Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) also known as optical frequency-domain imaging (OFDI), NvisionVLE provides treating physicians and pathologists with cross-sectional, volumetric digital images of a patient's organ – including below the surface of the tissue, over very large areas. This imaging information can be used to aid clinician decision-making relative to biopsy placement or treatment planning.
The NvisionVLE Imaging System is indicated for use as an imaging tool in the evaluation of human tissue microstructure, including esophageal tissue microstructure, by providing two-dimensional, cross-sectional, real-time depth visualization. The safety and effectiveness of this device for diagnostic analysis (i.e. differentiating normal vs. specific abnormalities) in any tissue microstructure or specific disease has not been evaluated.
Originally developed at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH; Boston), NinePoint licensed the imaging technology from MGH in 2010 as part of the largest intellectual property agreement for medical device technology in the hospital's history.
"We think our form of [OCT] is a breakthrough technology for imaging and soft tissues. It allows us to look at the soft tissue micro-structure in cross sectional ways that to date has not been possible," Carignan said. "We received our first 510(k) clearance in the U.S. back in 2011 and we received our latest 510(k) clearance last May, with an esophageal imaging indication. We have those in place for the U.S. Internationally, we have a CE mark on our first generation technology although we didn't commercialize that technology. We're in the process of getting a CE mark on the current version of our technology - which would be the one that we would be commercializing in Europe. We're also going to be starting the process for regulatory approval in Japan and China as well."
The company is no stranger to significant funding rounds. Last May the company raised $33 million in a Series A round.
"We started our Series A with two great investors, Third Rock Ventures and Prospect Venture Partners and we were able to have a fairly sizable Series A that allowed us to do the licensing deal we did with MGH for product development and to actually get the product launched last year."
Carignan noted that the company was successful because it had a strong team that delivered quick results.
"I have a great team that really executed very well and we got a product to market in a fairly short period of time," Carignan said. "I think that helped build credibility with investors that you have a team that can execute. There's always challenges. It's not as though it's an easy thing to develop a new technology and get it launched, but if you have a group of people that work diligently in a careful efficient way to get a product out there so that there are revenues around that, then I think people will invest in you and believe in you."