MedTech Fierce 15 winner Axonics gets off $120M IPO

The company is hoping to gain FDA approval for its SNM device. (Axonics)

Axonics Modulation Technologies has pulled in a meaty IPO as it looks to compete with medical technology major Medtronic for its neuromodulation device in overactive bladder (OAB).

The IPO window has swung wide open for life science companies this year, but in recent weeks it had begun to look as if the bubble had reached its zenith, with many pricing their IPOs down as the market cooled slightly.

Axonics, however, still pulled off an upsized $120 million public offering, hitting the midpoint of its range, pricing 8 million shares at $15 apiece. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol $AXNX.

This comes after a $20 million series C last summer, then a $40 million funding round this April; this latest cash boost will go toward its work on a technique known as sacral neuromodulation (SNM), which treats OAB by delivering electrical stimulation to the sacral nerve, helping to correct erroneous messages sent between the bladder and the brain.

It’s not a new concept, as the technology has been used for more than a decade to treat an estimated 200,000 patients with urinary or fecal incontinence, but Axonics’ spin is to develop a smaller, rechargeable device that is more patient-friendly.

The SNM system comprises a stimulator implant with a four-electrode-tined lead, a charger worn above the skin where the implant is placed, a remote control and a touch-screen tablet, which a doctor uses to place the leads and to program stimulation.

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Axonics, which has approvals for its device across Europe, Canada and Australia, is competing with Medtronic, which has its own SNM device for overactive bladder. Back in June, the firm said it had finished off enrollment for ARTISAN-SNM, its pivotal test set up to gain the all-important FDA approval.

While Medtronic’s InterStim SNM implant is already FDA-approved, Axonics says its device can reduce costs to the U.S. healthcare system by $12 billion over the next 15 years. The Axonics system is rechargeable and has a life span of at least 15 years, the company says, so patients will not need to undergo surgery to get a new device implanted every 4 to 5 years.