Cagent Vascular sharpens up with $30M for serrated balloon catheter

In much the same way that Cagent Vascular’s flagship device is designed to help open up blocked arteries to promote blood flow, a recent round of funding for the startup is now slated to widen the device’s path in the commercial market.

The series C round brought in $30 million for Cagent, according to its announcement Tuesday. U.S. Venture Partners let the financing, with additional help from Blue Ridge Medical and Sectoral Asset Management, among other backers.

The round more than triples Cagent’s last fundraising, which closed with $9M from Sectoral Asset Management in mid-2021.

“This infusion of capital will increase our commercial reach, helping to provide greater access for healthcare providers and their patients,” CEO Carol Burns said in the release, noting that more than 10,000 of the company’s Serranator balloon catheters have already been used to treat cases of peripheral artery disease.

Cagent’s Serranator device is meant to offer what the company bills as a more effective alternative to traditional balloon angioplasty procedures to treat peripheral artery disease. In those standard procedures, a small balloon catheter is inserted into a blocked or narrowed artery, where it’s inflated to open up the blood vessel and then removed, often followed by the placement of a stent to keep the artery propped open.

A significant amount of elastic recoil can occur after a typical balloon catheter is removed, however, as the artery re-constricts without the inflated balloon’s pressure holding it open.

The Serranator balloon catheter attempts to avoid that bounce-back. It’s embedded with three serrated elements that score the artery walls during insertion, reducing the tension of the newly expanded vessel walls and therefore keeping them from quickly narrowing back to their previous size once the balloon has been removed.

According to a recently published study that Cagent cited in this week’s release, while the use of regular angioplasty balloons resulted in an average elastic recoil of 55% within 15 minutes of treatment, the Serranator-treated arteries experienced a mean recoil of just 6%.

The Serranator system earned its CE mark clearance in Europe—where it currently has limited distribution, per Cagent—in late 2017. That was followed in the spring of 2020 by a 510(k) FDA clearance allowing it to be used in below-the-knee angioplasty procedures in the U.S.