Kona Medical snags additional funding for ultrasound for hypertension

Kona Medical has nabbed $30 million from investors to further its work on using ultrasound technology to reduce hypertension.

The Bellevue, WA company said it will use the money for clinical trials and to add staff in its Bellevue and San Francisco offices, as it prepares for commercial development. It also says it has added a new chief financial officer.

Kona's product is designed to reduce high blood pressure through ablation, a kind of chipping away of the renal nerves. The company says recent data shows that is an effective way to treat the condition in people who do not respond to medication.

The hypertension device market could swell to $4.4 billion annually and there actually are a number of companies going down this path right now, Bloomberg reports, including medical device giant Medtronic ($MDT). About one-third of the 1.2 billion people with hypertension have drug-resistant ailments, and that makes for a lucrative market for devicemakers.

Kona says the Series C investments is being led by an unnamed "large-cap medical technology company." Kona's current investors--Essex Woodlands, Domain Associates, Morgenthaler Ventures and BioStar Ventures--chipped in as well. It also said the finances are set up so that additional investors could be brought in.

Its new CFO, Jim Bowers, had been senior vice president at ultrasound company SonoSite, which was recently acquired by Fujifilm. It also has worked at Northstar Neuroscience, Guidant Corp. and Eli Lilly. 

- here's the release
- insight from Bloomberg