Calypso Medical Technologies (Seattle) reported closure of its Series D private equity financing, totaling $42.2 million.
Apothecary Capital (Chicago), Glenview Capital Management (New York), and Pequot Capital (New York), joined Calypso Medical’s existing investors.
The company said that the proceeds will be used to support market launch of its Calypso 4D Localization System for use in patients undergoing radiation treatment for prostate cancer and to accelerate development of this “platform technology for use in tumor sites throughout the body.”
Calypso received FDA 510(k) clearance for the system for prostate treatment last July (Medical Device Daily, Aug. 9, 2006), and Eric Meier, Calypso’s president/CEO, told Medical Device Daily that since then the company has been developing a “direct sales organization covering the U.S. that includes three constituents: a sales team, product specialists and customer support.”
Meier billed the system as “objective, easy-to-use, non-ionizing.” And he said the market target is any radiation center using external beam radiation supplied by a linear accelerator.
Radiation therapy is used to treat about one million cancer patients in the U.S. each year; however, doctors must guard against damaging healthy tissues that surround the tumor caused by misalignment and unpredictable tumor motion. In prostate cancer treatment, the most common side effects arise when the radiation beam misses the prostate but irradiates adjacent healthy organs causing urinary, rectal and sexual dysfunction complications.
The Calypso 4D Localization System enables doctors to pinpoint a tumor’s location with great accuracy and continuously monitor its position throughout treatment using miniature electromagnetic sensors, called Beacon transponders.
Transponders are implanted in the prostate to continuously monitor position and motion of the organ in real-time.
While the company received its initial approval for prostate cancer treatment, Meier emphasized the broad array of other opportunities open to the company.
He called the Calypso technology “a system platform that has potential for body-wide capacity. We intend to focus on product development efforts optimizing the software, transponders to support use of the system in a variety of soft tissue cites — tumors of the breast, lung, liver and head and neck.”
He provided no timelines for any of these new applications but said: “Work is under way right now” and that some of the clinical work in head and neck and lung cancer already has been presented at conferences.
The first commercial system is installed at the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) on Swedish Medical Center’s First Hill Campus (Seattle) and that, over all, “clinical response has been superb.
He put the “ballpark pricing” of the system in the “half-a-million [dollar] range.”
“With this capital raise, Calypso Medical can fully implement our business plan of offering our novel localization platform for the majority of patients undergoing radiation therapy and, therefore, provide greater confidence in the delivery of radiation therapy,” notes Timothy Mate, MD, radiation oncologist with the Seattle Prostate Institute at Swedish Medical Center and founding member of the Calypso scientific advisory board, added: “importantly, we expect this technology to have a role in clinical applications in tumors throughout the entire body in the future. This 4D monitoring technology is a key building block in advancing radiation therapy delivery.”
Calypso addresses two major issues in modern radiation oncology: errors in treatment set-up and tumor motion during treatment. In addition, the Calypso 4D Localization System’s non-ionizing electromagnetic guidance has the potential to improve workflow efficiency and treatment room utilization. FDA 510(k) clearance was received in 2006 for use in patients undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.
Swedish Medical bills itself as the largest, most comprehensive, non-profit
health provider in the Pacific Northwest. SCI opened in 1932 as the first dedicated cancer-care center west of the Mississippi.