Devices & Diagnostics

Arizona healthcare startup raises $50K for its wet AMD treatment

Tucson, Ariz.-based healthcare startup Salutaris Medical Devices has raised $50,000 in debt financing so far in its quest to reach $1 million, according to a regulatory filing made with the SEC. The funding will support the 5-year-old company’s minimally invasive brachytherapy treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration. CEO Mike Voevodsky said in an email: “The device […]

Tucson, Ariz.-based healthcare startup Salutaris Medical Devices has raised $50,000 in debt financing so far in its quest to reach $1 million, according to a regulatory filing made with the SEC. The funding will support the 5-year-old company’s minimally invasive brachytherapy treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration.

CEO Mike Voevodsky said in an email:

“The device is engineered for the retina surgeon to [place and] deliver the therapy for each patient’s specific lesion location, in the same clinical environment as anti-VEGF treatment, without the complication of complex machinery or software. An additional inherent advantage of the SalutarisMD brachytherapy device is its ability to deliver a highly focused dose of radiation to the neovascular lesion while minimizing dose to non-target tissues. . . .

“Brachytherapy for wet AMD has the potential, as a one time treatment, to drive efficacious outcomes as well as reduce the need for anti-VEGF injections.”

This, he said, could take the cost out of care as the anti-VEGF injections, the bi-monthly injections into the eye that are currently the standard of care, are expensive for payers. Salutaris presented two-year data on its phase I/II studies in Hamburg, Germany and in Amsterdam. The startup has a “broad collaboration agreement” with Moorfields Eye Hospital, the oldest eye hospital in the world, and will develop the therapy and begin more clinical trials there in 2014, Voevodsky said. Voevodsky said the device could be approved in Europe as early as next year.

Though Voevodsky was unable to disclose funding details, he did say “we are a venture capital funded company.”

Maybe there are hints in the directors listed on the filing with venture connections.

Directors listed on the regulatory filing include COO Laurence Marsteller; Voevodsky, formerly of Perrigo Company and The Quaker Oats Company; William Lomicka, general partner at the Yearling Fund, chairman of Coulter Ridge Capital, advisory board member for Valley Ventures and formerly Senior VP of Finance for Humana; Eric Tooker, executive VP and general counsel for MCS Biotech Resources (and, according to WhoGotFunded, has helped Salutaris raise millions over the past few years); and Richard Love, managing partner Translational Accelerator LLC venture fund, who founded Triton Biosciences and ILEX Oncology.

“While the company CEO and COO come from science heavy backgrounds in start ups and large healthcare firms, what distinguishes the company is its medical and science team,” Voevodsky said in his email. “The medical and science team behind the device is composed of leading experts in the fields of retina surgery, medical physics and radiation oncology with backgrounds from NIH, Harvard, Sloan Kettering, Stanford, Wills Eye Center and Moorfields Eye Hospital with a long history of innovation in medical physics and treating ocular diseases with radiation.”

For more of an in-depth look on the competition in wet AMD treatment, click here.

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