Spirox reels in $18.5M for nasal obstruction device

Spirox roped in $18.5 million in a Series B round to support development of its nasal obstruction device, giving the company a boost as it eyes U.S. regulatory approval for its product.

Venrock and Aisling Capital led the round, and existing investors Aperture Venture Partners, Correlation Ventures and Western Technology Investment also contributed funding. Menlo Park, CA-based Spirox plans to use the funds to complete development of its nasal obstruction device, seek U.S. marketing authorization and kick off commercialization for the product, the company said in a statement.

Traditional treatment for nasal obstruction includes surgery to treat a deviated septum, reduce the size of bones in the nasal passage or prevent nasal valve collapse. Spirox's technology offers a minimally invasive approach that can restore the nasal valve without surgery, helping patients breathe better while avoiding potential morbidity associated with surgical procedures. The device could also allow Spirox to tap into a large market, as more than three million Americans see a doctor each year for nasal obstruction symptoms and almost 1 million procedures are performed to reduce symptoms, the company said in a statement.

"We are thrilled to receive support from such a strong syndicate of investors to help us accelerate Spirox toward commercialization," CEO Duke Rohlen said in a statement. "This funding is further validation of our technology which has the potential to provide relief for millions of patients suffering from nasal obstruction."

The company also added three new members to its board of directors as part of the latest funding round, with Venrock partner Camille Samuels, Aisling partner Aftab Kherani and Stacy Seng, formerly Covidien's President of Vascular Therapies, joining Spirox's ranks.

Spirox is not the only company developing innovative nasal obstruction devices. Palo Alto, CA-based SinuSys is hard at work on a product that can be implanted at the doctor's office, improving patients' breathing while eliminating the need for surgery. The company last year touted promising study results for the device, which showed that its Vent-Os System kept most patients' nasal cavities open after 6 months without device-related adverse events.

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