Miniature neurostimulator developer Nalu Medical nets $65M VC round

Nalu Medical has collected $65 million in new financing to boost the reach and adoption of its miniaturized neurostimulation implant aimed at treating chronic pain.

The California-based company’s series E round was led by a new backer in Novo Holdings; returning investors included Gilde Healthcare, MVM Partners, Endeavor Vision, Decheng Capital, Longitude Capital, Advent Life Sciences, Pura Vida and Aperture Venture Partners. 

Nalu’s FDA-cleared approach includes a small, battery-free pulse generator that’s placed under the skin through a 15 mm incision and connected to the spinal cord or peripheral nerves with a thin electrical lead. Power is supplied wirelessly with an externally worn rechargeable disc, while therapy is controlled by a smartphone app. The company says its implant can last for 18 years, while the external discs can be swapped out and upgraded over time.

The reversible system also allows for patients to take it on a trial run: a temporary version of the hardware can be used for up to 30 days, to gauge how a user responds to neurostimulation before switching to a long-term device, as the electrical pulses aim to interrupt the signals that carry chronic and intractable nerve pain.

“The Nalu Team is excited about meaningfully expanding and improving the treatment options in the peripheral nerve pain space by setting a new standard of care while also offering a disruptive, minimally invasive, solution in the established spinal cord stimulation market,” Nalu President and CEO Tom West said in a statement. “We continue to invest in building clinical data to expand access for patients who often don’t have other therapeutic options.”

Late last November, the company put forward a post-market observational study showing that 86% of users saw their lower back and leg pain cut down by at least half after three months of treatment; meanwhile, 54% reported pain relief scores of at least 80%. 

Nalu said that the latest series E proceeds would go toward gathering further health economic evidence for its system, as well as support the company’s commercial growth and product development.