Three-way merger nets $100M in VC cash to Galvanize pulsed electric fields for cancer, heart disease, bronchitis

The life science venture capital firm Apple Tree Partners is bringing three of its portfolio companies together under a single banner—and its progeny has raised $100 million to support their newly unified work in delivering pulsed electric field technology to a variety of treatments.

Previously, ATP launched and incubated Gala Therapeutics, Galaxy Medical and Galvanize Therapeutics, each pursuing energy therapy applications for chronic bronchitis, cardiac arrhythmias, solid tumors and drug dosing.

Going forward, they’ll be combined under the Galvanize Therapeutics name, with its Aliya pulsed electric field platform serving as the engine behind the others’ specially designed delivery systems.

The aim with Aliya is to disrupt the basic functions in troublesome cells by using targeted bursts of high-voltage, high-frequency electrical current—but without delivering the heat seen with typical thermal ablation devices and by triggering as little muscle contraction as possible.

The platform will be adapted to help power Gala Therapeutics’ RheOx system, a CE-marked device for blunting the mucus-producing cells lining the airways of patients with chronic bronchitis. The minimally invasive, bronchoscopic approach has also received a breakthrough designation from the FDA and is undergoing a clinical trial in the U.S.

Galaxy Medical, meanwhile, brings its Centauri catheter treatment to the table, which received a European approval in late August. It works to disrupt the aberrant electrical signals in the heart that lead to cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation.

They join the California-based Galvanize’s past work developing Aliya for soft-tissue ablation, which recently received FDA clearance, the company announced—and its research into the treatment of lung, liver, kidney and breast tumors by stimulating the body’s immune system. Galvanize is also exploring ways to deliver drugs locally using electric fields.

The joint efforts will be given a $100 million boost through a series B funding led by Fidelity Management and joined by Intuitive Surgical, ATP and Gilmartin Capital. 

"We designed the customizable Aliya energy platform to serve patients in a variety of challenging disease categories, and the integration of our market-specific strategies and innovative products within Galvanize is an exciting milestone in the execution of our vision,” Galvanize’s founder and CEO, Jonathan Waldstreicher, said in a release.

Gala commercially launched its RheOx system earlier this year at hospitals in Italy, Denmark and Germany. According to the company, it’s the first medical device available in Europe for treating the symptoms of chronic bronchitis. 

The company put forward results from a feasibility study last year showing that, one year after the procedure targeting mucus-producing cells, 21 treated patients had a 36% reduction in moderate airway exacerbations and a 63% reduction in severe exacerbations that required hospitalization, compared to the 12 months prior to the procedure.