Israeli startup reels in $6M for cartridge-based hernia repair device

Via Surgical's FasTouch system--Courtesy of Via Surgical

Israel's Via Surgical brought in $6 million to develop its cartridge-based hernia repair device, a feather in the company's cap more than a year after its product got an FDA green light.

Benslie Investment Group led the funding, giving Via Surgical a boost as it looks to expand its reach for its FasTouch Deployable Suture Fixation system. The device includes a reloadable cartridge with lockable sutures that close around the mesh and the tissue, which helps prevent foreign objects from getting in. FasTouch is also lightweight, the company said on its website, and having less material may cut down on adverse responses from the body or chronic pain in patients following a procedure.

"The addition of Benslie Investment Group to our highly experienced team validates the opportunity to advance patient care with the FasTouch Deployable Suture Fixation System. Their investment will greatly support the increasing clinical demand for improved fixation through our development and commercialization efforts in 2016," Via Surgical CEO Lena Levin said in a statement.

The funding comes almost two years after Via Surgical got FDA clearance for its FasTouch system. In April 2014, the FDA gave the company a go-ahead to market its device for certain minimally invasive and open surgical procedures such as hernia repairs.

"Clinical interest in FasTouch is extremely high, surgeons are intrigued by the ability to deliver flexible and consistent suture-like fasteners combined with the ease of delivery of a standard tacking device. I believe the FasTouch will revolutionize the mesh fixation market," Via Surgical CEO Ofek Levin said at the time.

Via Surgical is also adding Nicolas Weinstein, a managing partner at Benslie, to its board of directors as part of the latest financing. Benslie seems optimistic that the company can gain ground in the year ahead. FasTouch is "a fantastic device that benefits all shareholders," Weinstein said, adding that Via Surgical is "a great addition to our portfolio of healthcare companies with a proven team, top advisory board and late stage technology."

- here's the statement