InterVene secured $15 million to validate its catheter-based treatment for correcting failed one-way valves in the veins of the legs, which can lead to backflows of blood, pain and swelling.
The company’s solution for deep vein reflux is to form new valves built out of tissue from the patient’s own vein walls, forgoing the need for an implant. By slicing and stretching thin pockets in the inner layers of the blood vessel, the BlueLeaf device can create multiple monocuspid or bicuspid valves during a single procedure while avoiding the need for open surgery.
InterVene estimates that about 6.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from the condition as well as chronic venous insufficiency, which results in the pooling of blood in the legs and poor flow back to the heart.
These patients can also progress to severe symptoms, such as chronic ulcers and breakdowns in the skin, as current treatments like compression therapy and wound care do not address the underlying causes, the South San Francisco-based company said.
“The funds will be utilized to expand our clinical research program abroad, and to initiate trials in the U.S. via an investigational device exemption study,” InterVene CEO Fletcher Wilson said in a statement.
The series B financing round was led by 3x5 Partners, who joined returning backers RiverVest Venture Partners, Correlation Ventures and others—as well as the medtech giant Boston Scientific, which led InterVene’s $5.9 million series A round in 2015.
InterVene was born out of the Stanford University Biodesign Fellowship program, and was a former company-in-residence at the Fogarty Institute for Innovation.
“We expect to further demonstrate safety and clinical effectiveness while we optimize the BlueLeaf system and procedure in preparation for a subsequent pivotal study,” Wilson added.
The company also recently expanded its management team, bringing on Jeff Elkins as chief operations officer and Tracy Roberts as vice president of clinical affairs.
Elkins was previously president and CEO of the venous stent developer Veniti, which was picked up by Boston Scientific in a $160 million deal last year. He has also served as vice president and business unit manager for Medtronic’s endovascular division and has held roles at other endovascular companies.
Roberts, meanwhile, has served as director of clinical operations for Roche Sequencing Solutions and was director of clinical affairs for Abbott Vascular, where she helped obtain FDA approval for its carotid stent.