May 12, 2008
ST. LOUIS, May 12, 2008 – Veran Medical Technologies, a medical device startup company, has secured $4.75MM in venture capital and private financing to drive adoption of its SPiN IR™ System for minimally invasive biopsy and ablation of cancer. St. Louis-based Prolog Ventures led the round and was joined by Advantage Capital Partners and existing private investors. Veran also relocated its headquarters from Nashville to St. Louis in order to build relationships with local medical community.
“We are pleased to have secured the backing of Prolog Ventures and Advantage Capital Partners who have experience in the development of medical device companies,” said Jerome R. Edwards, president of Veran. “The Veran team has a wealth of experience and a successful track record of developing delivery products. We feel empowered by the significant impact that SPiN IR™ could have on patient care and society.”
The greatest hurdle in cancer treatment is safe, efficient, and economical early detection. When diagnosed at Stage 1, lung cancer survival rates approach 90%. If diagnosed beyond Stage 1, lung cancer survival rates fall to below 15%. Cancer screening will only increase the already overwhelming demand for biopsies needed for complete diagnosis. Incidental screening is occurring at a high rate due to the 7 million chest CT scans performed annually in the United States as patients are examined for other co-morbidities. This is leading to detection of potential cancer much earlier in the disease cycle. Tools are needed to encourage early treatment through safe, efficient biopsies and resection or ablation.
The SPiN IR™ System and instruments enable accurate, efficient targeting of very small lesions. The system aims to give clinicians the confidence to treat patients earlier in the disease cycle without subjecting patients to unnecessary complication risk. The system also aims to deliver throughput efficiency that hospitals can capitalize on. Finally, the SPiN IR™ products hope to move cancer treatment earlier in the disease cycle, which is far more economical and beneficial than expensive later stage surgeries and medicines.
“We are very pleased about our investment in Veran, which allows the company to execute and drive adoption of its products,” said Greg Johnson, managing director at Prolog Ventures. “There is no doubt that early detection and treatment is the key to cancer care. Veran’s products intend to fill a very critical need in medicine today.
We believe that Veran’s products will be instrumental in improving the efficacy of therapies for certain diseases such as lung cancer. ” “We believe the value of Veran’s product line is unique because it provides benefits for patients, physicians, hospitals and ultimately taxpayers,” said Jeremy R. Degenhart, senior vice president at Advantage Capital Partners.
Veran is a privately held medical device company headquartered in St. Louis, MO. The company’s mission is to empower physicians to diagnose cancer earlier and to enable precision therapy to save lives. In the United States, lung cancer kills more people each year than breast, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancers combined.
Veran has developed and commercialized an FDA cleared, next generation electromagnetic thoracic navigation platform called the SPiN Thoracic Navigation System®. Veran’s breakthrough technology has been adopted by leading cancer centers throughout the United States. Veran provides physicians with a full line of bronchoscopic brushes, needles, forceps and steerable catheters with tiny electromagnetic sensors embedded in the tips for precise navigation. The combination of these proprietary Always-On Tip Tracked® instruments and Veran’s exclusive patient respiratory gating technology enables physicians to accurately access lung nodules by accounting for nodule movement during patient breathing, a common challenge for lung specialists.
Another challenge lung specialists face is that approximately 40% of lung nodules lie outside of an airway, making them very difficult to reach endobronchially, and traditionally requiring an additional procedure. Veran’s SPiN Thoracic Navigation System® is the first and only FDA cleared technology that enables Pulmonologists or Thoracic Surgeons to safely and accurately access lung nodules outside of an airway using SPiN Perc®, a navigated transthoracic needle. With SPiN Perc®, Veran combines endobronchial navigation with percutaneous navigation, allowing physicians to access all lung nodules in a single procedure, regardless of nodule size or location. This eliminates the cost and risk of unnecessary procedures and empowers physicians to provide a same day diagnosis for their patients. The early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer has been proven to save lives.