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Checkpoint Surgical garners $1.1 million investment to launch nerve stimulator

Checkpoint plans to use the investment to fund a pilot launch starting this month of its stimulator, said Len Cosentino, Checkpoint’s chief executive officer. The launch will include two or three hospitals in each of five markets: Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham and South Florida.

HIGHLAND HILLS, Ohio — Checkpoint Surgical has raised $1.1 million to develop and commercialize a hand-held disposable nerve stimulator.

Checkpoint plans to use the investment to fund a pilot launch starting this month of its stimulator, said Len Cosentino, Checkpoint’s chief executive officer. The launch will include two or three hospitals in each of five markets: Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham and South Florida.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Checkpoint’s device in September.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Nerve stimulators are used to locate, identify and confirm motor nerve function, and help surgeons avoid nerve damage during surgical procedures. The device, called the CheckPoint Stimulator/Locator, is a hand-held, single-use sterile device designed for one-hand use.

Of the $1.1 million cash infusion, $250,000 comes from JumpStart, a Cleveland-based, early-stage investor. The rest comes from private investors and the company’s management team, Cosentino said.

The investment is part of a first round of $2 million that the company hopes to close by the end of the year, Cosentino said.  He hopes to close on an additional $3 million in funding by the end of 2010.

Checkpoint was spun off from medical device incubator NDI Medical earlier this year. Last year, NDI sold a bladder control device for $42 million to Minneapolis-based device giant Medtronic.

Cosentino joined NDI in 2006 as vice president of business development and corporate counsel. Previously, he was a partner with Cleveland law firm McDonald Hopkins LLC.