SentreHeart pulls in $26M for surgical suture device

SentreHeart has reeled in $26 million in new Series C financing. Executives plan to use the cash infusion to broaden the international commercial launch of a device designed to partially automate certain surgical sutures.

Vivo Ventures led the latest funding round and existing investors, U.S. Venture Partners and Prospect Ventures, also participated.

A suture may not sound like a lot. But SentreHeart says it is eyeing a $1.6 billion global market (reflecting 2.5 million procedures each year) for its LARIAT suture delivery device, a catheter-based approach that uses a pre-tied polyester suture to make suture placement and knot tying more easier in soft tissue surgeries. The company sees its device as enabling some procedures that would be done in the emergency room to be performed instead in a catheterization lab, which could be more cost-effective.

"We have seen that our technology is being rapidly adopted by physicians around the world and we now look to support and continue this steady growth," SentreHeart President and CEO Paul Buckman said in a statement.

Tools intended to improve the surgical experience for surgeons have drawn investor notice in recent months. Texas-based Apollo Endosurgery, for example, drew $47.6 million in financing to back the commercial launch of its second-generation OverStitch endoscopic suturing system and the company's other flexible surgical tools.

SentreHeart's LARIAT gained 510(k) in the U.S. and a CE mark in Europe back in 2009. SentreHeart launched in 2005 and employs 35 people, according to the company.

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