The notion of human tissue-integrated biosensors to monitor chronic disease and health indicators may seem a bit outlandish. But startup Profusa has gotten some serious buy-in from investors and advisers to back precisely that vision--to provide real-time, minimally invasive monitoring of body chemistries.
It's raised a $13.2 million Series B financing that was led by Beijing venture capital firm 3E Bioventures. In addition, it's adding Google VP of Global Partnerships Joan Braddi to its board of directors.
Interestingly, she is with the original search engine business, not the newly named med tech business Verily, under the parent company Alphabet ($GOOG). Braddi initiates and manages Google's content and distribution partnerships globally. Among Verily's many med tech projects is one to develop nanotech diagnostic sensors that would be deployed throughout the body. That vision is not too dissimilar from the Profusa mandate.
Also joining the Profusa board, as part of the financing, is 3E Managing Partner Karen Liu. She heads the firm's investment in the U.S. and China.
"This round, coupled with prominent board appointments from the biotechnology and IT sectors, provide Profusa with the additional funding and market experience to help ensure our success," said Profusa chairman and CEO Ben Hwang in a statement.
So far, disclosed details on Profusa's technology are minimal. It is developing next-gen biologically integrated sensors intended to enable continuous monitoring of body chemistry. In order to avoid the rejection of foreign material by the body--the bioengineered sensors are expected to integrate with bodily tissues. The resulting clinical-grade data is expected to be used for personal and medical use.
Founded in 2009, the South San Francisco, CA-based Profusa has raised a total of more than $30 million, including grants. Profusa's first product is slated to be the Lumee Oxygen Sensing System. It measures tissue-oxygen perfusion in the clinical management of chronic wounds and is slated to be available in Europe in early 2016.
- here is the announcement