Aum Cardiovascular said in a regulatory filing that it raised $5 million of a hoped-for $6.3 million funding push for the Cadence handheld device it developed to detect heart disease.
The Northfield, Minn.-based company was founded by CEO Marie Johnson after the unexpected death of her husband from a heart attack at age 41, according to Aum Cardiovascular’s website.
Johnson, who’s slated to be a guest at MassDevice.com’s DeviceTalks Minnesota event in September, declined to comment on the funding round but said that the Cadence device has already launched in Germany.
“It’s going great,” Johnson told us, adding the company is selling the device in Germany using a direct sales force.
Aum’s Cadence is designed to identify obstructions in the coronary arteries by detecting acoustic signals generated by the turbulence created as blood flows past the obstruction, according to the site. The company’s name is based on a Sanskrit syllable meaning “to make a continuous low humming sound,” akin to the information the Cadence device is designed to extract from diseased coronary arteries, the company says.
Aum also said it’s running a U.S. pivotal trial of the device.
Back in 2011, Cadence may have played a part in saving the life of a venture capital investor. Steve Kiemele, the CFO of North Dakota life sciences fund Linn Grove Ventures, was at an investors pitch by Johnson. The Aum device was used to screen Kiemele and 2 other attendees, indicating that Kiemele might have a 60% to 70% blockage of the left anterior descending artery.
“She had this sick look on her face at the meeting,” said Kiemele at the time, recalling Johnson’s demeanor when she delivered the results of the test.
The blockage was later confirmed by a cardiologist in North Dakota, where a CT scan eventually revealed the blockage, although it was not as extensive as indicated by the CADence device. But it was enough to shock the then-51-year-old Kiemele, whom Johnson described as athletic and not overweight. Kiemele says while he exercised regularly before, he is more “militant” about daily exercise and has cut all red meat from his diet.
“I am biased; if we had the money, I would say we should invest in [AUM Cardiovascular] tomorrow,” Kiemele said in 2011.
Four unnamed investors participated in the round, according to the SEC filing.