Vascular robotics manufacturer Corindus Inc. is midway through a Series C financing round, banking $5.3 million of what is expected to be $10 million in new funding, according to regulatory documents filed this week.
The Natick, Mass.-based company is working to commercialize a computerized navigation tool to steer stents, angioplasty balloons and other devices through narrowed arteries. Corindus previously received financial support from 20/20 Healthcare Partners of Auburndale, Mass., starting soon after the company’s 2006 launch, and from HealthCor Partners, a private-equity firm in New York that led its Series B round in March 2008.
Company officials have not yet identified investors participating in the current round or disclosed how they plan to use the proceeds.
The robotics technology was developed by Corindus co-founder and board chairman Tal Wenderow, among others, and can be operated from remote locations, limiting physician and support staff exposure to X-ray radiation during procedures.
According to patent claims, the Corindus system improves on prior remote-use designs that do not provide a full range of motion to position devices inside arteries or rely on bulky, slow or expensive equipment. The key components in the Corindus system are sets of rollers that grip guide wires steering devices through catheters and into arteries with great precision. The rollers also open, allowing for easier insertion and removal of the devices.
In preliminary tests conducted in 2005 and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the Corindus system was used to successfully place stents in 15 of 18 human patients. The procedures were all completed within four to 13 minutes, similar to current techniques requiring doctors and staff to be in the same room as patients and leading the researchers to conclude it was suitable for “treatment of coronary stenosis and offers radiation safety and potential enhanced precision.”
The company named David Handler its new chief executive in Dec., 2008 , replacing Frank Martin. Handler came to Corindus from GE Healthcare, where he most recently was general manager of its Global MRI marketing department. He also led initial marketing efforts in 2001 for GE’s then-new Interventional Cardiology business.
Martin remains a Corindus board member, along with Wenderow, 20/20 managing director Hillel Bachrach and HealthCor senior managing director Jeffrey Lightcap.