BiOM has raised $6 million through a debt and equity financing, according to regulatory filing with the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Bedford, Mass.-based BiOM (formerly known as iWalk) listed 18 investors in the Dec. 23rd filing, including an unnamed "non-U.S. purchaser." which invested a total of $1,079,160 into the bionics prosthetics maker. The company is looking to raise up to $10 million in this round.
BiOM is a driving force in the bionics revolution. The company’s BiOM T2 bionic ankles are part of a new generation of "smart" prosthetics that seek to restore normalized function of human limbs to amputees. The company’s bionic ankle emulates the muscle function of a human ankle using computer processors that are able to "adjust the ankle’s stiffness and propulsive torque 500 times a second," the company says. The result is a prosthetic that can mimic a person’s natural gait, reducing many of the long-term health problems associated with prosthetic limbs. The company was founded by MIT robotics guru Hugh Herr.
The BiOM is one of the costlier prosthetics on the market – up until January of this year insurance companies reimbursed physicians anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 for the devices, according to BiOM. Although the device is covered by the U.S. Defense Dept., the Veterans Affairs Dept. and various private worker’s compensation plans, the device remains in reimbursement limbo at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Former BiOM CEO Tim McCarthy told MassDevice.com that even though CMS issued a specific reimbursement code for the BiOM prosthesis and set a reimbursement rate, it ultimately determined that Medicare would not cover the device.
"Even though they’ve given us the code, given us the fee, it’s a non-Medicare covered item, so any Medicare covered patient who wants the BiOM would either have to get supplemental insurance or pay out of pocket. Medicare is not paying for the BiOM at this stage," McCarthy told us. "They didn’t do us any favors."
BIOM has put more than 1,000 systems on the market, about half to military personnel who lost limbs in combat. The company has always had a strong connection to the VA and the Defense Dept.; BIOM was partially funded by the federal government, part of a $500 million push to create better prosthetics. BIOM is the only commercialized technology to spin out of that investment, McCarthy told us.
In July, BiOM replaced McCarthy with Dr. Charles Carignan, a 20-year medtech veteran who has held several key positions in the medical device industry, including most recently at NinePoint Medical, where he was the founder and CEO.
In addition, Carignan has served as executive vice president and chief medical officer of Novasys Medical and held the same role at Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX). He was also the vice president of clinical research and medical affairs at Conceptus (NSDQ:CPTS), where he oversaw the clinical development of the Essure device for female sterilization.
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