Aortica said it raised $7 million in a Series A round for development of its treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysms and named a medtech veteran as its new CEO.
Aortica said medtech veteran Tom Douthitt will helm the corner office, with co-founder Dr. Ben Starnes serving as chief medical officer.
Aortica plans to use the proceeds from the Series A round to complete a pivotal study for a treatment aimed at AAA patients who are unable to undergo endovascular surgery because of certain anatomical abnormalities.
Douthitt told MassDevice.com today via email that the Series A round "was comprised entirely of angel investors and represents the 1st investment in the company." Aortica was formed Sept. 8 and the funding closed on Nov. 7, he told us.
According to its website, Aortica’s endovascular aneurysm repair device is designed to be customized to each patient’s anatomy.
“Approximately 30% to 40% of patients diagnosed annually in the U.S. with moderate to severe AAA disease are ineligible for less invasive endovascular therapy due to anatomical limitations,” Starnes said in prepared remarks. “Aortica has developed an approach designed to allow standard endografts to be customized to fit each patient’s unique anatomy. Consequently, patients who previously were faced with a highly invasive surgical course now will have the option of far less invasive endovascular aneurysm repair."
Douthitt said he began his career in medtech at Eli Lilly‘s (NYSE:LLY) medical device division in 1987 and stayed with Guidant when it spun out from Lilly in 1995. After 5 years at Guidant, he wrote, he left to become vice president of sales & marketing at a medical device startup, but by 2002 he was recruited to become general manager of Abbott Vascular‘s (NYSE:ABT) coronary business.
Stints at 3 more medtech startups followed from 2004 to 2014, Douthitt told us, noting that Aortica is the 5th early-stage venture he’s been involved with but his 1st as CEO.
Val Kennedy contributed to this report.