JPM: TAVR surgical tool company, pain management startup grab venture cash

Micro Interventional Devices and SPR Therapeutics are two medical device startups that just lured some crucial new venture funding, even as the market remains challenging. One is focused on the heart and the other, on pain.

Micro Interventional Devices president and CEO Michael Whitman told FierceMedicalDevices exclusively at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco that the 2-year-old surgical surgical device company had raised $3.5 million of an expected $5 million Series B round, with the rest expected to close within 90 days.

The Pennsylvania company will spend the money on an ongoing CE mark study for Permaseal, its minimally invasive surgical device anchoring tech, which is designed to help surgeons access the heart's left ventricle during transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, procedures. Micro Interventional Devices previously raised about $2 million, Whitman said during an interview at Union Square across from the annual event. A CE mark submission is likely by the fourth quarter. Companies including Edwards Lifesciences ($EW), Medtronic ($MDT) and St. Jude Medical ($STJ) have developed, or are pursuing testing of, various transcatheter aortic valve replacements, something that Whitman argues is "major disruptive technology going on in cardiac surgery today." And his company is developing Permaseal to help facilitate the use of these replacement valves.

Meanwhile, SPR Therapeutics announced separately that it drew in a $5 million Series A round to fund multiple clinical trials for its nerve stimulation technology. Trials will focus on post-operative joint pain, lower back pain and post-stroke shoulder pain. Patients receive treatment through electrodes placed near but not directly on peripheral nerves.

SPR's president and CEO Maria Bennett said in a statement that the company expects to nail down a CE mark "within the beginning of the year" for the shoulder pain indication.

SPR's new financing comes from NDI Healthcare Fund, Public Square Partners and individual investors. Since its 2010 launch, the Cleveland-based company has also brought in $5 million in private equity financing and $5.7 million in nondilutive funding.

- read the SPR release