Creo files for $26M IPO to fund surgical endoscopy devices

London Stock Exchange sign
Creo Medical is set to list stock in London later this week

Creo Medical Group is set to raise approximately $26 million in an IPO. The British surgical endoscopy specialist will use the money to commercialize its radiofrequency and microwave-enabled system for tissue dissection, resection, ablation and coagulation in the U.S. and Europe.

Chepstow, Wales-based Creo is due to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange later this week. In conjunction with the IPO, Creo has conditionally raised $26 million from investors to fund its attempt to win approval for its Croma surgery system on both sides of the Atlantic and research further applications of the technology. The Croma system is currently working its way through the CE mark and FDA clearance pathways.

“Our vision is to develop and commercialise our current suite of products based on the Croma electrosurgery platform, initially launching into the flexible endoscopy market, including GI and bronchoscopy,” Creo CEO Craig Gulliford said in a statement.

Creo has developed Croma to deliver microwave and bipolar radiofrequency through one accessory port. The microwave function allows surgeons to perform ablation and coagulation. And the bipolar radiofrequency capability supports dissection and resection.

To enable surgeons to make use of these capabilities, Creo has created Speedboat RS2, an instrument to perform the tumor-removing surgical procedure endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD).

Surgeons began using ESD to remove tumors and polyps that could turn cancerous more than a decade ago. But, while advocates claim it delivers lower recurrence rates and fewer complications than competing techniques, it has struggled to establish itself in the West. U.K. watchdog NICE listed a lack of long-term survival data and concerns about perforation and bleeding as reasons surgeons should only use the procedure after making “special arrangements.”

Creo has designed Speedboat RS2 to cut the time it takes for surgeons to learn to safely perform ESD, for example by building a protective hull to prevent muscle damage into the instrument.

In a clinical trial of 31 patients with oozing vessels, surgeons used Speedboat RS2 to coagulate 50 of the 51 bleeds without causing serious adverse events. Surgeons did the coagulation during endoscopic resection of complex colorectal polyps. The polypectomy sites of 97% of participants had completely healed when assessed three to six month later. One patient was lost to follow-up.

Creo designed the trial to deliver data to support a CE mark application. And, having generated the results, now needs cash to enact the next phase of its strategy, during which it will build out its commercial footprint in the U.S. and Europe while establishing new applications for its products.

The company has advanced to this point using $20.7 million from investors, $8.45 million of which was secured in September 2015. That recent round attracted the support of Pentax Medical, a unit of Japan’s Hoya Group. Japan has been faster to adopt ESD than other countries. And local company Olympus is among the incumbents Creo will compete against if it secures clearance to sell its ESD products.