OtoNexus Medical Technologies raised $7.9 million to fund development of its ultrasound device used to diagnose middle-ear infections in children and determine if antibiotics are needed for treatment. The Seattle-based company sold nearly $8 million in equity of its $9.2 million offering.
CEO Caitlin Cameron filed a Form D with the Securities & Exchange Commission, writing that the 1st sale date was December 30, 2016.
OtoNexus is developing an air-coupled ultrasound diagnostic device that identifies and characterizes fluid in the middle ear to determine if a physician should prescribe antibiotics. The device uses disposable tips and an interface to display data to the physician in seconds, according to the company.
Nearly 93% of American children will suffer a middle ear infection, or otitis media, severe enough to warrant a doctor’s visit, OtoNexus wrote on their website. Current diagnostics are inaccurate, the company argued, and clinical studies show diagnostic error rates averaging 50%.
Overdiagnosis of otitis media and overprescription of antibiotics can ultimately suppress the child’s ability to fight infection, predisposing the child to additional cases of otitis media. Antibiotics, which are prescribed in 85% of cases, should be prescribed in 25% cases or less, according to the CDC.
In 2015, the White House set a goal to cut the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in half by 2020, as part of the plan to fight drug-resistant bacteria or ‘superbugs’.
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