Koch brothers lead $150M investment in device company

Insightec’s device (Courtesy of Insightec)

An investment group owned by the Koch brothers has taken the lead in Insightec’s series E. The round will funnel up to $150 million into Insightec to support commercialization of its noninvasive image-guided neurosurgery device and expansion into new indications.

Koch Disruptive Technologies, an investment fund set up by the billionaire Koch brothers, is leading the round. Initially, Koch and the rest of the investor syndicate will put $75 million into Insightec in an agreement that gives the backers the option to commit the same amount again down the line. That means Insightec now has access to a business-redefining amount of money.

“This investment round elevates Insightec into a new strategic position within the healthcare industry,” Insightec CEO Maurice Ferré, M.D., said in a statement.


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Insightec attracted the investment on the strength of the potential of Exablate Neuro, an MRI-guided focused ultrasound device cleared by the FDA for treating essential tremors. Doctors can use the device to aim high-intensity ultrasound at parts of the brain. Where the waves converge, the temperature rises to levels that cause cell death.

With the essential tremor application showing the technology can have a favorable risk-benefit profile, Insightec is stepping up its research into other indications. Parkinson's disease and cancer of the prostate, liver and pancreas are all in Insightec’s sights.  

The investment is the first made by the Koch fund. Koch Industries shared details of the unit in October in a release that talked up Charles Koch’s experience applying technology to agriculture. The release left the door open to the fund working in areas outside of Koch Industries’ traditional areas of focus. And it has now shown its willingness to place big bets on medical devices.

Suggested Articles

The Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine tapped Deloitte to help develop a network of flying drones to deliver genetic testing specimens.

The FDA approved a new, tiny pacemaker from Medtronic that does not require the wiring of separate electrodes between the implant and the heart.

The respiratory care company Vyaire Medical has brought on a new CEO, Gaurav Agarwal, following a year of new product launches.