HistoSonics raises $2M to develop its ultrasound-based ablation device

Vortx Rx machine--Courtesy of HistoSonics

Michigan's HistoSonics has raised $2.1 million in debt, options and other securities to fund development of its noninvasive image-guided tissue ablation technology to treat benign prostate hyperplasia.

The financing is in addition to $1.5 million in debt raised in December, and $14 million in equity obtained between 2009 and May 2014, according to SEC filings.

The company's Vort Rx System delivers a form of focused ultrasound known as histotripsy via a device that's placed on top of the skin, but over the targeted area inside the body, in order to ablate (or eliminate) soft tissue.

HistoSonics touts the device's precision, saying the ultrasound beams act as "acoustic scalpels" that precisely ablate soft tissue without damaging the surrounding health tissue. The process is monitored using real-time ultrasound imaging.

The ablated cells are liquefied and then reabsorbed or excreted by the body.

In December 2013, the company treated its first benign prostate hyperplasia patient as part of a clinical trial containing 25 people, according to ClinicalTrials.Gov.

HistoSonics spun out of the University of Michigan in 2009.  Few details were provided about most recent financing, but according to the HistoSonics website, investors in the company include Venture Investors, Hatteras Venture Partners, Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Early Stage Partners and TGap Ventures.

Benign prostate hyperplasia, caused by an enlarged prostate, affects more than half of men over 50. Over 2 million U.S. men seek treatment per year, though only 350,000 of the cases require surgery. The condition causes urinary symptoms and can lead to kidney problems.

In July, Procept BioRobotics rounded up $42 million to get through a pivotal trial of its water-based ablation technology to potentially treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, without the side effects seen with heat-based ablation, which include bleeding, dysuria, incontinence and sexual dysfunction. HistoSonic's ablation is also non-heat-based.

- here's the SEC filing

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