MedLumics raises $37M for trials of atrial fibrillation device

MedLumics has raised $37 million to run clinical trials of its atrial fibrillation device. The Series B positions MedLumics to use its work to miniaturize optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging technology to develop an optically guided radiofrequency ablation catheter, AblaView.

Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP) led the round with support from fellow new investors Seroba Life Sciences and Innogest Capital. A new, unnamed strategic investor also put in cash, as did Ysios Capital Partners and Caixa Capital Risc, the financiers that helped MedLumics to its $3.8 million Series A in 2011.

MedLumics used that Series A cash to further its work on OCT, a light-based imaging technique that has established itself by delivering higher resolutions than MRI and ultrasound. Now, having spun off its imaging platform to form DermaLumics in 2015, MedLumics is focused on applying its progress in the OCT field to the destruction of the parts of the heart that cause abnormal rhythms in patients with arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation.

The idea is to use the imaging capabilities to equip a device to tell how far it is from walls and how good a contact it has made with the lesion. MedLumics thinks this will reduce the risk of the condition recurring because the procedure was performed imperfectly. And it has persuaded investors with experience of backing successful ablation companies of the potential of its approach.

“We believe MedLumics’ founders Eduardo Margallo and Jose Rubio have done a world class job in adapting and miniaturizing OCR technology such that it became applicable to an AF catheter,” EdRIP Partner Olivier Litzka said in a statement. “Based on our experience helping develop Endosense’s Tacticath to become the current gold standard in point-by-point ablation, we believe that MedLumics’ AblaView has all the necessary technological features to ultimately transform AF treatment by making the procedure significantly safer, more predictable and more successful.”

The interest of EdRIP helped MedLumics pull off what it claims is the largest medtech financing by a Spanish company, and what is likely to be one of the bigger device rounds in Europe this year.

In securing the money, MedLumics has become the latest in a string of Spanish medical startups to pull off rounds that are big by the country’s historic standards. Those earlier rounds involved drug developers such as Sanifit, but MedLumics’ experience shows med tech firms can pull in sizable sums, too. The $37 million raised by MedLumics is only slightly less than the $39 million obtained by Sanifit in 2015, which is still Spain’s biggest biotech round.