Autonomic Technologies said it raised a $38 million Series D financing from a global syndicate of investors including Novartis (NYSE:NVS) and the Cleveland Clinic – a funding infusion that will help advance its Pulsante microstimulator to treat severe headaches in the U.S. and abroad.
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners in Paris led the round, syndicated with Dutch VC firm Forbion Capital Partners. Beyond existing investors Novartis Venture Fund and the Cleveland Clinic, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, InterWest Partners and Aberdare Ventures also participated.
The company is already selling Pulsante in Europe by way of a CE Mark to treat chronic cluster headaches, and the financing will help it expand European commercialization by way of Autonomic Technologies Europe GmbH, its new, wholly owned subsidiary in Germany. As well, the round will back an ongoing IDE study for Pulsante in the U.S. Executives said they also want to expand Pulsante’s treatment possibilities beyond severe headaches.
"We are now well financed to further build out our leadership position in the growing field of neurostimulation in headache, expanding our launch to other countries in Europe and expanding the clinical evidence base of our minimally invasive treatment into other indications," president & CEO Ben Pless said in prepared remarks.
Pulsante includes 2 components. A device smaller than an almond is inserted through a tiny incision in the upper gum above the second molar, at the sphenopalatine ganglion nerve bundle, at the side of the patient’s headache pain. A patient then controls the neurostimulation by turning on the remote controller and placing it on the cheek over the inserted device. Once electronic stimulation is complete, the controller is removed and the stimulation therapy stops, according to the company.
Autonomic Technologies, which is based in Redwood City, Calif., got its start as a spinoff from the Cleveland Clinic Innovations program.
Companies in the marketplace are exploring different neurostimulation concepts to treat migraines/severe headaches. Maryland Medical device maker eNeura, for example, gained FDA clearance in 2014 for its Spring TMS system, a mobile magnetic stimulator designed to treat migraine related pain preceded by an "aura."