NeuSpera Medical had been working under the radar for some time on about $1 million in angel financing. Now, it's raised an $8 million Series A financing after bringing in a high-profile exec to lead its effort. The Santa Clara, CA-based startup is aiming for a futuristic field that already has substantial strategic interest: electroceuticals.
GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) declared its interest in electroceuticals, also known as bioelectronics, a few years ago. The idea is that miniature devices can be used to modulate the electrical impulses in the body, thereby triggering biochemical processes that are more typically manipulated via biopharmaceuticals. The end game is to replace drug therapies by inducing the body to heal itself in major illnesses that could include diabetes, asthma, hypertension, arthritis, pain and even cancer.
The biopharma has put its money where its mouth is with a couple of financing initiatives including a $50 million venture fund. GSK has funded at least 33 electroceuticals, mostly in very early research stages.
NeuSpera claims that its implant is more than 100 times smaller than other neuromodulation devices. It expects its miniaturized injectable neuromodulation technology could treat patients with chronic illnesses. Its small form factor is expected to reduce procedure complexity and time as well as patient complications and post-surgical pain. The tech is powered by the company's MidField technology.
It's not quite clear yet if NeuSpera is aiming for the more traditional function of neuromodulation, pain management, with a smaller form factor--or if it's actually seeking to address tackle underlying disease processes. Either way, it's staked itself out as an electroceuticals company.
The company was founded in 2014 as Vivonda Medical. Last August, it brought in former Cyberonics SVP of R&D Milton Morris. He was first tasked with a Series A fundraising. Morris left Cyberonics in the shake-up after the $3 billion merger with Sorin to create LivaNova ($LIVN).
"It is a privilege to be in a position to positively impact human lives through medical technology--a privilege that I take seriously," said Morris in a statement when he was appointed as the startup's CEO. "NeuSpera has the opportunity to fundamentally change the way neuromodulation therapy is delivered. I look forward to realizing its great potential."
- here is the SEC filing