Axonics executes $40M financing to commercialize neuromodulation device

Axonics has secured $40 million to support commercialization of its neuromodulatory treatment of urinary and bowel dysfunction. The financing comes as Axonics closes in on the end of a clinical trial that will set it up to market the device in the U.S.

Irvine, California-based Axonics is focused on the development of a rechargeable sacral neuromodulation system. Like other sacral neuromodulation devices, such as Medtronic’s InterStim, Axonics’ device is designed to normalize communication between the brain and the bladder and the bowel through the stimulation of the sacral nerve. This provides patients with conditions such as overactive bladder with an alternative to anticholinergic drugs, the efficacy of which is undermined by nonadherence. 

While Axonics is wading into a market fought over by established drugs and devices, it thinks its system has an edge over the incumbents. Notably, Axonics’ device is rechargeable. Rather than get the device removed when the battery runs down, patients place a charger on their skin for one hour every one to two weeks to get the stimulator back up to full power. 

Axonics expects the stimulator to keep working for more than 15 years. That model of fairly frequent charging and very rare replacement sets the device apart from InterStim. The Medtronic device cannot be recharged. After anywhere from three to 10 years, depending on the model and other factors, the InterStim battery runs down and the neurostimulator is replaced. 

The potential for Axonics to carve out a piece of the market persuaded Longitude Capital to lead a $20.1 million equity investment with the support of existing backer Gilde Healthcare. Axonics also secured a $20 million credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank. 

Axonics will use the money to commercialize the device in Europe and the U.S. European officials have already cleared the device for sale and Axonics is making its way toward FDA approval. A pivotal trial of the device is due to wrap up by the end of the year.