A Medical Device Daily
Pathfinder Therapeutics (Nashville, Tennessee), a company focused on the development of "surgical GPS" systems for the abdomen, said it has closed on a $5.2 million Series A financing round led by Hatteras Venture Partners (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina).
Other investors included Florida Gulfshore Capital, Clayton & Associates, Nashville Capital Network, Lumira, and Vanderbilt University (also Nashville). Clay Thorp and Bob Morff, PhD, from Hatteras Venture Partners and Richard Molloy from Florida Gulfshore Capital have joined the board of Pathfinder, and Morff will serve as interim CEO.
"After speaking with dozens of surgeons and thought leaders around the world, we are confident that Pathfinder will fill a critical void for modernizing surgical precision in the exploding field of robotic and image guided surgery," Thorp said. "As a first mover with strong intellectual property and some of the best thought leaders in the field, we believe that Pathfinder is well-positioned from a strategic and marketing point of view."
The new capital will finance the launch of PlaniSight Linasys and SurgiSight Linasys, medical devices focused on the planning and intra-operative navigation of liver surgery. SurgiSight Linasys, an integrated system of hardware, software and tracked tools, received FDA 510(k) clearance in December 2007. PlaniSight Linasys, a software system for pre-operative planning for liver surgery, received FDA 510(k) clearance in September.
The company is conducting a post-clearance clinical trial for Linasys, funded by a SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute. The company said its products would be formally launched at the American Hepato-Pancreato-Bilary Association (Maitland, Florida) meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, in March.
"This investment allows the translation of our research and development from the laboratory to the hospital and now to the marketplace where it can help the maximum number of patients," said Robert Galloway, PhD, company co-founder and professor of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University. "Our team of engineers and surgeons at Vanderbilt has been a leader in system development for surgery and other forms of therapeutic guidance beginning with brain surgery. We are now able to bring the advantages of such guidance to the liver, kidney and other abdominal organs."
Pathfinder says it is the first company to receive FDA clearance for a medical device to navigate liver surgery using preoperative medical images, SurgiSight Linasys. SurgiSight Linasys uses line of sight localization and laser range scanning surface registration techniques to show surgeons where they are in the context of their target organ and underlying structures.
In other financing activity:
• Cambridge Heart (Tewksbury, Massachusetts) reported that Citigroup has informed the company that it will liquidate its investments in auction rate securities (ARSs) that had been previously deemed illiquid. Citigroup's agreement, which was the result of a larger settlement between Citigroup, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the attorney general of New York, calls for Citigroup to liquidate the securities at par value by Nov. 5, Cambridge said. To date, Citigroup has liquidated $3.1 million of the company's ARSs.
Cambridge develops products for the non-invasive diagnosis of cardiac disease, particularly the identification of those at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
• World Heart (Oakland, California) effected a reverse stock split of 30-to-1 after filing of articles of amendment with Industry Canada under the Canada Business Corporations Act and commenced trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market on a post-consolidation basis on Oct. 28. The company's shareholders approved the proposal for a reverse stock split on Oct. 9, World Heart said. Completion of the reverse split is intended to allow World Heart to keep its listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market, subject to continued compliance with all of the other listing requirements.