TherOx raises $16.8M in funding round for its device to save heart tissue after an attack

TherOx, the maker of a device designed to salvage heart tissue following a coronary attack, raised $16.8 million in an equity round the company hopes will eventually hit its target of $23.1 million.

It is the largest round of financing since the privately held company following its failed 2008 IPO attempt and a snub the following year from an FDA panel that voted down TherOx's premarket approval saying the device had "only marginal benefit" and a potential for risk, MedCity News reported.

The Irvine, CA-based company plans on using the funds to recapitalize and to support a final round of clinical trials that will it will have 100 participants.

TherOx's device has been in development for more than 20 years and is designed to deliver highly oxygenated arterial blood directly to the heart with about 5 to 7 times the normal oxygen concentration. Clinical trials dating back to 2007, found the device was responsible for saving about 26% more damaged heart tissue in subjects.

Despite the roadblocks, investors clearly seem to be attracted to TherOx as its device, if approved, could have a far-reaching impact for heart attack victims. The device's supersaturated blood therapy is supposed to prevent heart cell death by reducing microvascular damage.

The company has raised about $120 million since it was founded in 1994.

- see the SEC filing
- check out MedCity's story

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