Devices & Diagnostics, Startups

Device startup with a digital health twist raises $32M in series C round

Endotronix is marrying a wireless implantable pulmonary artery pressure sensor with a cloud-based care management system.

Health care costs

A medical device company, which leverages digital health and cloud-based tools, announced on Thursday that it has raised $32 million in a series C round.

Endotronix, based in Woodridge, Illinois, raised the money from a syndicate of investors including BioVenture Investors, SV Life Sciences (SVLS), Lumira Capital, Aperture Venture Partners, and OSF Ventures. Existing investors, and an unnamed corporate investor, also participated in the round.

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Including this round, the company has raised $50 million to date, according to the company’s CEO, Harry Rowland.

Endotronix makes a wireless implantable pulmonary artery pressure sensor for heart failure patients who can be monitored remotely. Changes in cardiac pressure is a metric widely considered the most accurate sign for worsening heart failure, but until recently was only available in a clinical setting. St. Jude Medical’s CardioMEMs system is the first FDA-approved implantable wireless pulmonary artery pressure sensor available on the market.

But Endotronix marries its medical device syste with a cloud-based patient management system that allows patients, caregivers and physicians who see the pressure data and other key physiological data to communicate and stay on top of changing conditions.

The wireless pulmonary artery pressure sensor that is implanted

The wireless pulmonary artery pressure sensor that is implanted

“Patient-friendly, wireless solutions that provide early detection and link the physician and patient in continuous communication have enormous potential for the management of chronic heart failure,” said Dr. Leslie Saxon, professor of medicine and executive director for the Center for Body Computing, University of Southern California, in an Endotronix news release. “The Endotronix solution optimizes the inefficient management and communication pathways that currently plague both patients and physicians.”

(Saxon sits on the company’s board.)

The handheld, bedside device placed over the hear to get the sensor readings.

The handheld, bedside device placed over the heart to get the sensor readings.

The money raised will be used to commercialize the company’s cloud-based care management platform as well as conduct an early feasibility study of the wireless implantable pressure sensing system.

“We are excited to invest in Endotronix and believe it is well positioned to disrupt costly heart failure treatment patterns and add significant value to the market,” shared Paul LaViolette, managing partner, SVLS and incoming Endotronix Chairman of the Board, in a news release. “The company’s end-to-end patient management solution will integrate critical data on one platform to best address the clinical problem of managing patients with advanced heart failure.”

Chronic or congestive heart failure patients are a huge burden not simply on families but also the entire healthcare system. Hospitals are eagerly looking for a way to manage these patients outside the hospital to reduce the chance of frequent, repeat hospital admissions that invite financial penalties from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

St. Jude Medical’s CardioMEMs device has proved that it can dramatically reduce hospitalizations and repeat admissions of heart failure patients, which clinically validates the similar technology that Endotronix is pursuing. But the quandary is that even while the device is clinically meaningful, St. Jude Medical has found a rough time winning reimbursement.

And earlier this year, it slashed its revenue forecast for the device and revealed that it is after regional MACs (Medicare Administrative Contractors) declined to cover the device. MACs are private insurers that process claims of Medicare beneficiaries as well make local coverage decisions.

Endotronix is far away from reimbursement, given that it is just beginning an early feasibility study. But it will be interesting to see whether it’s cloud-based disease management tools and how much it ultimately charges for the implantable device can change the dialogue when it comes to reimbursement.

Photo: Getty Images and Endotronix