A Medical Device Daily

Axial Biotech (Salt Lake City) reported completing a Series A round of financing, raising $4.1 million.

Axial is a spine company developing genetic diagnostic and prognostic tests and what it calls "minimally invasive, motion-preserving devices" for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and deformities of the human spine.

Axial calls itself the first company "to pursue DNA-based pre-symptomatic and prognostic tests for common spinal disorders." The company said it also is developing a range of minimally invasive devices for spine surgery.

Axial said the funds will be used to accelerate its product development efforts, initially focused on the diagnosis and treatment of idiopathic scoliosis.

The funding round was led by vSpring Capital with the participation of Medtronic Sofamor Danek (Memphis, Tennessee) and Ohio Biotech Group.

John Climaco, CEO of Axial Biotech, said, "The combination of venture capital, corporate investment and backing by select individual investors, all of whom are recognized as industry leaders and experts, is a testimony to the value and potential of our business model and technology."

Michael DeMane, Medtronic senior vice president and president of Spinal, ENT and Navigation for Medtronic Sofamor Danek, said his company "would like nothing more than to help discover the genetic cause of scoliosis and ultimately help wipe the condition away from the universe of major medical challenges."

Dr. David Bradford, a member of the Ohio Biotech Group and past president of the Scoliosis Research Society, a group focused on the problems of spinal deformity, said, "The Axial Biotech team has already made significant progress towards the discovery of a location in the human genome associated with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The ability to diagnose spinal disorders before a patient begins to show symptoms would represent a paradigm-shift in spine care, and Axial Biotech has put this shift within reach."

In other financing activity:

Private equity firm DaVinci-Franklin Fund I (Las Vegas) reported completing an initial seed-round investment, the amount undisclosed, in Medsonix (Las Vegas). Medsonix said the funds will go to support its growth and initial marketing programs.

Medsonix has developed the Medsonix Therapy System, a technology for non-invasive pain relief, using a low-frequency sound wave generated by an electro-acoustical transducer. The Cassone transducer, which emits an acoustic energy field "on the whole body simultaneously," Medsonix said, adding that the technology "is not to be confused with ultrasound."

This technology introduces a range of patented frequencies controlled via power source and computer. A therapy session consists of clients sitting in a chair for 25 minutes "in their street clothes, listening to music, reading a book or simply relaxing."

Developed by Alphonse Cassone, company CEO, the system is covered by a U.S. patent, Medsonix said, and is FDA-registered as a Class I medical device. It "has completed two successful university studies" for treatment of various diseases, according to the company.

Medsonix has signed television host and former news anchor John Daly as the company's spokesperson.

NationsHealth (Sunrise, Florida) reported completing a $15 million secured convertible debt financing with MHR Capital Partners and certain of its affiliates. Proceeds of the financing will be used to expand the company's current business lines and provide sufficient capital to support new initiatives, including those related to the Medicare Modernization Act, it said.

NationsHealth offers discount prescription cards, accepted at more than 50,000 pharmacies nationwide. In addition, it provides home delivery of diabetes, respiratory and ostomy medical products to about 113,000 patients. NationsHealth is also the provider of diabetes supplies for Medicare beneficiaries at more than 1,000 Kmart pharmacies.

Glenn Parker, MD, CEO of NationsHealth, said, "Among the numerous advantages of the MHR proposal are a conversion price at a significant premium to current market, an extended maturity date and a balloon principal payment."

The company has issued secured convertible promissory notes of $15 million. NationsHealth is a Medicare supplier of medication and durable medical equipment for diabetes, respiratory and other Medicare-covered conditions.