Sonoma Orthopedic raises $12M to get ankle implant to market

Investors expect their $12 million cash infusion into Sonoma Orthopedic Products will be sufficient for the startup to gain FDA clearance for a new ankle implant--as well as to launch it and start to scale up sales. Backers for the financing included First Analysis, InCube Ventures, Emergent Medical Partners, MedVenture Associates, EDF Ventures, Angels' Forum and Asset Management Ventures.

The WRx wrist pin--Courtesy of Sonoma

Sonoma specializes in fixation devices to repair hard-to-heal bone fractures. Big-picture trends toward older populations and obesity will doubtlessly translate into increasing demand for these types of products in the coming years. An ankle implant would be an expansion of its existing product portfolio; the startup already markets FDA-cleared pins for collarbone and wrist fractures.

The startup's implants are miniature intramedullary nails using its WaviBody and ActivLoc technologies that are intended to offer the least-invasive surgical procedures for the fixation of fractures at the core of the bone. The design is intended to provide ease of insertion and effective placement, as well as minimizing trauma to surrounding structures and delivering sufficient support. Nails are the standard of care for larger bone fractures; Sonoma expects its technology to enable this for smaller and curved bones without damaging joints.

"Every year, there are several hundred thousand surgical fracture repair procedures. A large portion of these could benefit from Sonoma implant advantages, including reduced invasiveness, improved outcomes, and more rapid return to normal activities and work. As a result, we expect better patient results at a lower total cost," First Analysis Managing Director Tracy Marshbanks said in a statement. "We look forward to working with the Sonoma team and co-investors to make Sonoma implants the standard of care." He is joining Sonoma's board as part of the financing.

Prior to this, Sonoma's most recently disclosed financing was a $22 million Series D round in 2011 from investors including Ascension Health Ventures, Split Rock Partners, Legacy Life Sciences, EDF Ventures, MedVenture Associates, DFJ InCube Ventures, Emergent Medical Partners and Asset Management Partners. Sonoma Orthopedic was founded in 2005 and is based in Buffalo Grove, IL--just outside of Chicago.

First Analysis has invested more than $700 million in growth companies across healthcare, technology and software as well as clean tech and chemicals. It typically looks to invest roughly $3 million to $10 million as a lead investor or as part of a syndicate.

- here is the release
- here is a Crain's Chicago Business article