Boston Sci-backed startup bags $40M on heels of FDA nod for prostate device

The Rezum system--Courtesy of NxThera

NxThera has gotten a $40 million cash infusion to market its steam-based device to treat problems associated with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). The startup successfully drafted medical device heavyweight Boston Scientific ($BSX) to lead the round. This strategic investor is no stranger to the technology--American Medical Systems, from which Boston Scientific purchased the Men's Health and Prostate Health businesses in August, was a preexisting NxThera investor.

The startup's Rezūm System is used in the physician's office to treat BPH uses radiofrequency energy to create sterile water vapor. The steam is delivered convectively directly to the obstructive prostate tissue that causes BPH via a needle inserted through the urethra and into the prostate tissue. This release of thermal energy causes necrosis in the targeted prostate tissue cells, which are subsequently absorbed by the body's immune system.

"This round of financing allows us to expand our support of urologists interested in offering their patients an innovative office-based treatment option, with the demonstrated ability to significantly alleviate the bothersome symptoms related to BPH while preserving erectile and ejaculatory function" said NxThera President and CEO J. Robert Paulson Jr. in a statement.

He added, "We also intend to use a portion of these proceeds to fund ongoing product development and clinical studies to expand the application of our WAVE technology to treat men afflicted with prostate cancer." The Rezūm System is based on the startup's Convective Water Vapor Energy (WAVE) technology platform.

The FDA cleared the Rezūm System in August; this allows urologists to treat BPH patients with in various clinical settings, including urology clinics and surgical centers. About half of men over 50 suffer with BPH; its symptoms include frequency, intermittency, urgency, weak stream and straining to urinate, and waking up multiple times during the night to urinate (nocturia).

Of those diagnosed with BPH, about half are unable or unwilling to employ successfully current treatments available for it given the associated side effects and risks that they have. The system is intended to provide BPH patients with improvements in lower urinary tract symptoms, urine flow and quality of life.

In the NxThera financing, Aberdare Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, GDN Holdings and The Ally Bridge Group participated in addition to an expansion of the company's debt facility with East West Bank.

- here is the announcement