Amaranth's dissolving cardiac stent draws $20M Series B

Amaranth's Fortitude cardiovascular stent--Courtesy of Amaranth Medical

California's Amaranth Medical is hard at work developing a dissolving cardiac stent. To keep fueling the process, the company has nailed down $20 million in Series B financing in a round led by new Singapore investor DCP Management.

The money is slated to back continued clinical work, plus a CE mark clinical trial for Fortitude, the company's bioresorbable scaffold designed to treat coronary artery disease. Bio*One Capital, Charter Life Sciences and Phillip Capital--all existing investors--also participated in the round.

Amaranth said it completed enrollment in an initial prospective, nonrandomized investigational clinical study of Fortitude designed to assess the product's safety and workability. Execs plan to discuss preliminary results at the annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics meeting, which is scheduled from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1, 2013, in San Francisco. Follow-up studies are planned both 6 months and two years after implantation.

Amaranth isn't the only company developing a bioresorbable stent. Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), for example, launched its Absorb drug-eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold in Europe, parts of Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region in fall 2012. Expectations are that Abbott will make a U.S. FDA approval submission in 2014. Amaranth will have to compete against Abbott and other small rivals in various stages of development. All stand to gain, because cardiac stents are pretty commonplace now, despite the potential stroke risk and other side effects. A dissolvable stent would be a major advance, eliminating the potential risk a normal stent causes.

Amaranth's Fortitude is designed to dissolve after 3 to 6 months, according to reports. The company maintains research and manufacturing operations in Singapore and at its Mountain View headquarters.

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