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NDI Medical raises $4 million to incubate more neuromodulation technologies

NDI Medical LLC has raised $2.1 million to continue developing nerve-stimulating devices to answer patient needs and improve their health care. The Highland Hills company recently spun out two technologies — one identifies nerves and muscles during surgery; the other stimulates nerves to relieve chronic pain.

Updated 1:12 p.m., June 6, 2009

HIGHLAND HILLS, Ohio — NDI Medical LLC has raised $4 million to continue developing nerve-stimulating devices to answer patient needs and improve their health care.

Formed in 2002, NDI incubates neuromodulation devices, eventually spinning them off by selling them or setting up separate companies to take them to market.

Last year, the company sold its first product — a bladder pacing device called MedStim — to medical device giant Medtronic  in Minneapolis for $42 million. MedStim electrically stimulates nerves that control bladder function. Some 13 million women in the United States alone suffer from urinary incontinence, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“And so we raised more money into NDI to continue to develop new neuromodulation based therapies and did a successful round of investment specifically through angels,” said Geoff Thrope, NDI’s president and chief executive.

NDI also recently spun out two more technologies, Thrope said.

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  • Checkpoint Surgical LLC is led by Len Cosentino and is developing a disposable product used by orthopedists and ear, nose and throat surgeons to identify nerve and muscle function during surgery so they can avoid damaging either one.
  • SPR Therapeutics LLC is led by Maria Bennett. SPR, which stands for Stimulation for Pain Relief,  is developing a nerve-stimulating device that relieves chronic pain, such as in the shoulder or lower back.

“Our model is, as soon as we find that we’ve got a good therapy family and a good new indication and a good new market, we generate enough value in it and then go ahead and find a CEO to run it, spin it out and have that company start running on its own,” Thrope said.

Both companies now are raising their own growth capital, Thrope said. It’s too early to talk about the other technologies that NDI Medical is incubating, he said.