Monteris Medical Inc. raised $3.4 million in an equity round for a device that enables minimally invasive laser surgery for brain tumors, according to a regulatory filing.
Monteris hopes to stretch the funding round to about $4.5 million, CEO Jim Duncan said. The 25-employee company has garnered $21 million in investment funding since its 1999 inception.
Monteris’ AutoLITT System won 510(k) clearance for use in neurosurgery from the Food & Drug Administration last year. The procedure uses an MRI to guide a laser, allowing doctors to watch and adjust as they heat glioblastoma multiforme tumors, reduce them to paste and remove the residue.
The AutoLITT combines three technologies: Laser-induced thermal therapy, real-time MRI heat monitoring and minimally invasive MRI-guided surgical procedures.
Monteris plans to use the capital to fund its sales operations, Duncan said. The company just made its first two sales of the device to the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Doctors at both hospitals collaborated on the first human trials of the device. Monteris has three employees on its sales team, Duncan said.
The AutoLITT System offers an alternative to patients with brain tumors that are too risky to treat or don’t respond to other forms of treatment, according to Monteris.
The funding was sourced from four investors, three of which are based in Canada. Monteris’ two major investors are both Canadian — Western Life Science Venture Fund and the venture arm of Business Development Bank of Canada. Growthworks is Monteris’ third Canadian investor.
Monteris has offices in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Winnipeg, Canada. The company added the Michigan office in 2008, after it received an unspecified investment (PDF) from the Southwest Michigan First Life Sciences Fund, which was the fourth investor in the company’s most recent funding round. Monteris’ technology is based on research performed at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.
Duncan said the company has identified other potential applications of its technology besides brain tumors, but declined to specify them.