Swiss startup Luciole Medical announced today that it has closed a $5.5 million (CHF 5.3 million) Series A financing round to begin commercializing its minimally-invasive monitoring probe to measure blood oxygen levels in the brains of patients in intensive care units.
New investor SVC Ltd. (a subsidiary of Credit Suisse), led the round with Blue Ocean Ventures, Investiere and B-to-V as co-investors with significant support from existing shareholder Zürcher Kantonalbank. The company will also use some of the money to continue developing a non-invasive patch designed to measure oxygen saturation and blood flow in brain tissue in patients undergoing surgery.
“This support from seasoned investors is a transformative step that will allow us to accelerate the development of our next-generation brain monitoring platform,” said Luciole Medical CEO Philippe Dro in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to commercialize these important clinical tools that enable physicians to rapidly access critical information on the oxygenation status of the brain.”
Brain oxygenation and blood flow are critical for brain function. Impaired oxygenation in the brain can rapidly lead to severe consequences such as cognitive decline, speech impairment, paralysis, coma and even death. Measuring these parameters in patients and during surgery is vital for the immediate diagnosis and treatment of the patient.
Luciole Medical ‘s technology measures oxygenated and de-oxygenated hemoglobin content in the brain as well as cerebral blood flow. The company received the CE mark in 2016 for its minimally invasive probe for use in comatose patients following stroke or traumatic brain injury. Luciole Medical’s second product, a non-invasive patch, is under development and will be used in anesthesia and in other conditions where the brain may be exposed to desaturation. The Swiss-based private company is a spin out from the Swiss Polytechnic Institute and the University of Zürich.