Torax pulls in $30M to market gastro device

The Linx reflux management system uses magnetic beads to augment the esophageal sphincter--courtesy of Torax Medical

Torax Medical completed a $30 million Series D round, money the company will use to further market its line of sphincter-augmentation devices.

Torax's lead device is the Linx reflux management system, a laparoscopic implant designed to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease. Linx got FDA approval in March, and Torax says this $30 million cash infusion will help the company make its case to payers and providers, expanding the device's adoption.

"Billions of dollars are directed annually at reflux disease, but very little of this healthcare investment goes to correcting the underlying defect, which is the esophageal sphincter," Torax CEO Todd Berg said in a statement. "In today's cost-sensitive healthcare environment, patients and payers want more. We believe the [Linx system] will help curb the economic burden of this disease and start to address the growing incidence of serious complications associated with insufficient treatment."

The Linx implant is made up of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores, designed to augment the esophageal sphincter's barrier functions and prevent reflux. As the company points out, acid-suppression drugs, like Prevacid, work to slow acid production, but they don't correct the sphincter defects that cause the problem in the first place. This is where Linx stands alone, Torax says.

Piper Jaffray led the $30 million round, supported by Sanderling Ventures; Thomas, McNerney & Partners; Accuitive Medical Ventures; Kaiser Permanente; and Mayo Medical Ventures.

- read Torax's release