A Medical Device Daily

BG Medicine (Waltham, Massachusetts), a company focused on the development of molecular diagnostics based on biomarkers to improve patient outcomes and contain healthcare costs, reported that it has raised $40 million in a Series D financing.

New investors Legg Mason Capital Management, GE Asset Management and SmallCap World Fund joined current investors Flagship Ventures, Gilde Healthcare Partners, Humana and Stelios Papadopoulos in the round.

The company said the funding will enable it to complete development and commercialization of its first two diagnostic products and continue discovery and development of additional product candidates.

"By applying the modern science of systems biology to important disease conditions and their treatments, BG Medicine is poised to significantly improve the information used to support vital medical decisions, and therefore facilitate the provision of better healthcare in terms of outcomes and cost," said Dr. Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of BG Medicine and managing partner of Flagship Ventures.

He added, "Building on investments made during the past five years in developing and validating our patented technology platforms, this round should accelerate the commercialization of our new tests and position BG Medicine as an early leader in the emerging Biomarker-Guided Medicine market."

Leerink Swann acted as a placement agent for the Series D shares.

BG is developing molecular diagnostic tests based on biomarkers that are intended to provide information to physicians that will improve patient treatment decisions. The company's molecular diagnostic tests are designed to predict a patient's response to a drug therapy, determine the potential toxicity of therapeutic agents to patients, identify patients who have or are likely to develop a specific disease, predict a patient's prognosis once a disease has been diagnosed and monitor a patient's disease progression or drug response.

In other financing news:

• Vertos Medical (San Jose, California), a privately held device manufacturer focusing on minimally invasive treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), reported that the company has closed a Series C financing round of $12 million with leading venture capital firms active in medical technology.

The lead investors were CHL Medical Partners and Foundation Medical Partners and were joined in the round by previous investors Aweida Venture Partners and DFJ Mercury. In connection with the financing, Myles Greenberg, MD, of CHL, and Andrew Firlik, MD, of Foundation, have joined Vertos' board.

The proceeds of the round will be used to expand the Vertos product portfolio and support the commercial launch of the company's MILD (Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression) devices. The MILD procedure is a percutaneous, fluoroscopically guided treatment for LSS. The company said that MILD can be performed under local anesthesia and substantially reduces the tissue damage and removal associated with other minimally invasive or open surgeries. LSS is diagnosed in more than 1.5 million Americans each year. Vertos has obtained FDA clearance for sale of the MILD devices in the U.S.

Concurrent to the closing of the financing round, the company reported clinical results in 32 patients with moderate to severe LSS. All patients were discharged either the same day or the day following the MILD procedure. These patients were treated at 11 medical centers.

The company reported that there was a 90% decrease in pain as measured by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), as well as improved mobility, represented by a decrease in the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) of 84%. No complications or adverse events were reported, and all patients had discontinued the use of narcotics or pain medication at 6 weeks following the MILD procedure.

CEO Richard Johnson, MD, said that the funding "will provide Vertos with the resources to expand our clinical studies and support a full commercial launch of the MILD procedure in the U.S."

• Arbel Medical (Yokneam, Israel), a start-up company developing medical equipment for removing tumors by cryotherapy, reported that it has completed raising $4.5 million of capital in its second round, led by the Giza Venture Capital fund.

The Docor International investment company, of the Van Leer group, has invested $1 million, joining the other Arbel investors who include Giza Venture Capital, Ofer High Tech, the Bridge Investment Fund from the U.S., TRD and Fattal.

Concurrent with the funding round, Dr Alon Dumanis, CEO of Docor, will be appointed as a member of the company's board.