Outset Medical said today it raised $76.5 million in a Series C equity funding round to support its Tablo hemodialysis system.
The Tablo system is an all-in-one dialysis machine which handles both water purification and dialysate production and is designed to be used in a variety of settings, CEO Leslie Trigg told MassDevice.com.
The system is equipped with a touch screen interface and designed to be used by even the most basic user, Trigg said, something that sets it apart from other hemodialysis systems on the market.
“We designed it so that it’s acceptable for the average patient user to set up and manage their own treatment. That’s number 1. We do that not only through a touch screen, but more importantly through a lot of sensor based automation, removing all the manual steps of dialysis, so it’s much more like a self-driving car and a lot less like a conventional dialysis machine. That is what we were aiming for,” Trigg said in an interview.
Funding from the round will allow the company to commercialize the Tablo across 4 markets in the US, and to begin exploring markets outside it, Trigs said. In the US, the company has 4 addressable markets, including existing dialysis clinics, new dialysis clinics, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, and eventually for home use.
In looking outside the US, Trigg said that the company had eyes on China, seeing it as a major market for the all-in-one hemodialysis machine.
“This also allows us to dip our toes in the water of bigger international markets, with 1st and foremost in the dialysis field being China. China already has more people on dialysis than the US, and that number is expected to grow to a million people by 2021,” Trigg said. “What’s different about China is that they don’t have the existing clinic network, so a solution like Tablo that doesn’t require a clinic infrastructure around it and can deal with poor quality water we believe will be a winner in that market as well.”
The system has seen some significant changes over the past 2 years, Trigg said, receiving major upgrades to the device’s cloud-based connectivity and ability to update and improve its software.
“This is an area where we’ve seen a lot of progress over the last 2 years. The Tablo was recently the 1st hemodialysis system to receive FDA clearance for 2-way data transmission. So we can now not only transmit data all of the treatment data from the Tablo up to the cloud, but we can transmit data from the cloud to the Tablo,” Trigg said.
The system won FDA clearance for 2-way data transmission on Nov. 15, 2016, according to the company, allowing the Tablo system to not only transmit data from treatments but also receive significant software updates with new features and abilities.
“This enables features like wireless software updates – akin to the Tesla model, where it sort of becomes a new car every couple of months because they send the car new features, driven through software, that appear on the car. We can now do that same thing with the Tablo – we are constantly adding new features, new information, new improvements to the Tablo via the software,” Trigg said.
Data from the machine provides nearly half a million data points per treatment, according to Trigg. The machine, and the platform behind it, is equipped with pattern-based machine learning algorithms which allow the machine to remotely see and diagnose treatment parameters or issues that could occur during treatment to enable a rapid response, Trigg said.
Funding in the round was led by newly invested T. Row Price Associates funds and was joined by existing investors Fidelity Research and Management Company, Partner Fund Management, Warburg Pincus, Perceptive Advisors and The Vertical Group.
“We are very grateful to have outstanding support from T. Rowe Price and from our returning investors. Physicians and patients are excited about our technology, which meaningfully upgrades the patient’s treatment experience and offers a new avenue for cost reduction in a historically labor-intensive, infrastructure-intensive area of healthcare. This funding will provide the resources needed to scale our launch and brings us a step closer to making a significant and lasting impact on dialysis care,” Trigg said in a press release.