ReWalk Robotics marches to market with $58M IPO

Two weeks after scoring an FDA nod for its innovative robotic exoskeleton, ReWalk Robotics is marching to market with a $58 million initial public offering.

The Israeli devicemaker, formerly known as Argo Medical Technologies, will list on the Nasdaq under the symbol "RWLK" and will use the funds to support development of its ReWalk exoskeleton for individuals with paraplegia. Barclays Capital and Jefferies are joint book runners on the deal, and Canaccord Genuity will act as a co-manager, The Wall Street Journal reports.

ReWalk Robotics won FDA clearance for its ReWalk product in June through the agency's de novo classification process for "first-of-its-kind" medical devices that are considered low to moderate risk. The exoskeleton comprises a fitted metal brace that supports the knees and upper back; motors at the hips, knees and ankles; a tilt sensor; and a backpack that holds a computer and power supply. Patients wear the device over their legs and can sit, stand, and in some cases climb and descend stairs with help from a trained companion. The company is required to complete a postmarket clinical study as part of the device's clearance.

ReWalk is currently approved for paraplegic individuals with spinal cord injuries, but the company hopes to expand the device's indications for patients with quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, stroke and cerebral palsy, according to the company's SEC filing. ReWalk Robotics also plans to commercialize its product for home settings. Approximately 87% of individuals with spinal cord injuries are sent to private, noninstitutional residences after hospital discharge, and the company said it will target rehabilitation centers and hospitals to prepare patients to use the device at home and in the community.

ReWalk Robotics' 2013 revenue was $1.6 million, up from $972,000 in 2012, while net loss widened to $12.2 million from $6.7 million, according to the filing.

ReWalk Robotics is not the only company developing next-generation exoskeletons for patients with spinal cord or brain injuries. In 2012, Ekso Bionics rolled out its self-contained, full-body robotic walking suit with mechanical braces and crutches. The company had already won a CE mark for its product and supplies the bionic suits to rehab centers in the U.S., Europe and South Africa. In 2013, Parker Hannifin ($PH) nabbed a clinical trial deal with a major rehab hospital to test its Indego device in individuals with spinal cord and brain injuries, and also those who suffer from strokes and multiple sclerosis.

- read the WSJ article (sub. req.)
- here's the SEC filing
- get more from Renaissance Capital

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