Apama Medical reels in $19.5M for RF balloon catheter system

human heart
Apama is developing an ablation system that combines the advantages of RF single-point ablation and balloon catheter ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Apama Medical, which is developing a catheter ablation system for atrial fibrillation, scored $13 million in Series C financing. It did not disclose where it would direct the funding.

Atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat, affects between 2.7 million and 6.1 million people in the U.S., according to CDC estimates. The condition can lead to complications, such as blood clots, stroke and heart failure. Apama is developing a catheter ablation system for a fib that addresses the limitations of current treatments, which include blood thinners, drugs to control heart rhythm and rate and lifestyle changes as well as surgery.

While minimally invasive catheter ablation has been on the rise, the two major approaches, single-point radiofrequency ablation and balloon catheter ablation each have their drawbacks. The former can be used in multiple types of a fib, but has a long procedure time, while the latter is done quickly, but does not apply to all a fib types.

Enter Apama, which is working on a system to combine the advantages of both single-point and balloon catheter ablation. The company recently presented data at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions showing that the system met its safety and performance outcomes in a trial of 6 patients in Paraguay and New Zealand, according to the statement. At this point, 18 patients have been treated with the device at four international sites.

"The Apama RF Balloon Catheter System is an innovative solution that addresses the gaps in existing catheter ablation technologies," said Dr. Amin Al-Ahmad of the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute, in the statement.  "The multipoint RF system enables single shot, customizable ablation geometries for improved efficiency and versatility. In addition, built-in cameras enable real-time visualization that allows for enhanced navigation and feedback on electrode contact.”

Existing backers Ascension Ventures, Medvance Incubator Partners, ONSET Ventures and Incept LLC participated in the financing, while Silicon Valley Bank provided a debt facility of up to $6.5 million, according to the statement. While Apama did not disclose how it would direct the funds, it said it plans to continue clinically validating its RF balloon catheter system next year.