Nerve stimulation device maker electroCore goes public with $78M IPO

gammaCore Sapphire
The FDA has authorized the use of electroCore’s handheld device for the treatment of episodic cluster headaches and acute migraine pain, through electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve in the neck. (electroCore)

Bioelectronic medicine developer electroCore is going public with a $78 million IPO, listing 5.2 million shares of common stock at $15.00 per share.

The Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based company will begin trading today on the Nasdaq under the symbol ECOR, with the offering expected to close around June 26. ElectroCore also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 780,000 additional shares at the IPO price, minus underwriting discounts and commissions.

In April 2017, the FDA authorized the use of electroCore’s handheld, noninvasive device, which stimulates the vagus nerve in the neck with a small electric current, for the treatment of episodic cluster headaches.

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The company’s gammaCore device received an additional 510(k) clearance in January, expanding its use for the treatment of acute migraine pain. It has already received a CE mark and is being commercialized in Europe through a partnership with Desitin.

“Migraine is a debilitating disease affecting 39 million Americans, the majority of whom do not seek medical care for their pain,” said Stephen Silberstein, M.D., professor of neurology and director of the headache center at Thomas Jefferson University, pointing to gammaCore’s ability to be self-administered following its clearance.

Last November, the company raised $70 million in a series B round, backed by Core Ventures II, Gakasa, American Investment Holdings, the Vinik Family Foundation and the venture capital arm of Merck, the Global Health Innovation Fund.

RELATED: ElectroCore plays musical execs before commercializing migraine treatment

The money came after a 2016 reshuffling of electroCore’s senior management, with COO Frank Amato being moved up to CEO. Former CEO and founder JP Errico became chief science and strategy officer.

Other companies are targeting the vagus nerve with implantable devices and in other indications, including the alleviation of inflammatory disease symptoms such as rheumatoid arthritis. Last August, SetPoint raised $30 million to fund a phase 2 clinical trial of its penny-sized stimulation implant in RA, with backing from GlaxoSmithKline, Boston Scientific and Medtronic.

Meanwhile, a device from ReShape, formerly known as EnteroMedics, blocks the vagus nerve from sending hunger signals to help obese patients lose weight. ReShape raised $6 million in an April offering, pricing its shares at $0.75.

Editor's note: This story was updated with an image of gammaCore Sapphire, the latest version of the device.

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