CVRx brings in $12M more for hypertension device trial work

Devicemaker CVRx has hauled in another $12 million to add to its Series F financing, giving it vital cash to keep the clinical trial engine running for its hypertension treatment device and boost international marketing efforts.

The Minnesota company drew in a number of new investors, including Ysios Capital and DaVita HealthCare partners, the latter of which provides dialysis services for patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. CVRx raised $29.6 million for the first part of the round in July, attracting major investors including New Enterprise Associates and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) Development Corp. Before that, CVRx attracted a not insignificant $84 million in 2008.

CVRx, which launched in 2001, is developing Barostim neo, a device designed to boost blood flow by electrically activating the body's baroreceptors. Located on the carotid artery, they are the body's natural blood pressure sensors and regulate cardiovascular function. As the company explains, the device triggers a process that sends signals to the brain, which tells the arteries to relax, the heart to slow down and kidneys to reduce fluid in the body--all processes that help relieve pressure on the heart.

The company is well underway with two U.S. trials that began in April. One will focus on using the treatment for hypertension and enroll 310 U.S. patients. The other will test the device on 60 patients as a heart failure treatment. CVRx's device is already approved in Europe to treat hypertension and being tested overseas for the heart failure indication. To date, CVRx's devices have treated 625 patients, the company said.

As of July 2013, CVRx's total investment hovered around $240 million, illustrating the value investors see in its technology if the company can get it to a wider market. For the hypertension indication alone, the development of device options to treat the condition is a pretty hot space. Medtronic ($MDT), St. Jude Medical ($STJ) and Boston Scientific ($BSX) are all hard at work on competing products, but they're focused on renal denervation to get the job done. CVRx pitches its device as a standout, in part, because it "is a non-destructive reversible treatment" and works continually.

- read the release

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