Kona Medical closes $40M round for renal denervation device

Kona Medical has closed a $40 million Series C, adding $10 million to the total it announced back in May, all going to fund the development of its novel approach to renal denervation.

Much like devices from Medtronic ($MDT) and Vessix Vascular, Kona's in-development Kona Surround Sound relieves hypertension by ablating nerves in the renal artery. However, the company's tech does so noninvasively--without the use of a catheter--by delivering nerve-deadening ultrasound waves from outside the body.

The funding round was led by "a large medical device company" that would prefer to remain unnamed, Kona said, and the round also included Essex Woodlands, Domain Associates, Morgenthaler Ventures, Western Technology Investment and BioStar Ventures.

Kona's surgery- and drug-free approach to hypertension could greatly expand access to renal denervation, the company said, presenting a big opportunity for Surround Sound. "The resources provided by this financing will advance our mission to offer a treatment alternative for the millions of people who suffer from resistant hypertension," CEO Michael Gertner said in a statement.

Devicemakers are tripping over themselves to get into the renal denervation market, which analysts say could bring in up to $2.8 billion a year by 2020. Most of the big companies with products on the market or in development got them through M&A; most recently, Boston Scientific ($BSX) agreed to pay $425 million for Vessix, a 2012 Fierce 15 luminary.

With that in mind, it's no surprise a mystery device player is bankrolling Kona's development, and guessing as to just which one could bring hours of enjoyment to watchers of the space. Perhaps Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ)? The drug and device giant has said nothing about renal denervation, and it certainly has both the checkbook and incentive to jump into the much-hyped market. Ditto for Stryker ($SYK), which, after staying quiet on the M&A front, has been more bullish since appointing new CEO Kevin Lobo.

- read Kona's statement

Special Report: Renal Denervation - The Next Big Thing in Medical Devices