Stealth-mode startup Sinopsys Surgical said it raised $8.3 million in an equity funding round for the technique it’s developing to repurpose the tear duct to drain into the sinuses as a way to relieve chronic sinusitis.
CEO Dr. Harry Ross was a partner with Aweida Venture Partners of Superior, Colo., near to Sinopsys Surgical’s Boulder headquarters.
Although Aweida does not list Sinopsys among its portfolio investments, Sinopsys said in an SEC filing that Jesse Aweida is a board member. Boulder-based High Country Venture and Houston-based MercuryFund list Sinopsys among their portfolio companies.
Sinopsys has a single-page website that discloses little beyond an email address and phone number, but Ross has disclosed details at venture capital and life sciences industry forums. At the November 2013 Ophthalmology Innovation Summit in New Orleans, he estimated the potential market for the Sinopsys treatment for chronic sinusitis totaled 7 million patients for whom other treatments prove ineffective.
"What that means is they’ll spend a quarter of each year sick," Ross said. "Bottom line – we just don’t have good therapy for these patients."
By rerouting the tear ducts from the nose to the sinus, a patient suffering a chronic sinus condition can use eye drops to deliver antibiotics directly to the sinus, increasing the concentration of a dose that can be delivered.
Ross said the duct rerouting and stent implant procedure can be performed in about 5 minutes on an outpatient basis.
Under its predecessor company name of DCS Surgical, Sinopsys won FDA 510(k) clearance for an initial indication for the treatment. In an FDA premarket notification, the company described its device as a hollow flexible silicone lacrimal stent designed to be positioned distally in the paranasal cavities and proximally at the medial fornix conjuntival reflection.