Vertos Medical reels in $28M for implantless spinal stenosis treatment

Vertos' Mild treatment is a minimally invasive alternative to the most common surgical procedure for spinal stenosis.

Vertos Medical raised $28 million in new funding to boost commercialization of its device for the minimally invasive treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis.

The Aliso Viejo, California-based company markets a set of devices, dubbed Mild, which are used for lumbar decompression procedures. The Mild procedure is a fluoroscopically guided outpatient procedure for lumbar spinal stenosis, the narrowing of spaces in the spine that puts pressure on the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis is most common in people aged 50 and over and can cause numbness, weakness and pain.

Spinal stenosis may be treated with painkillers, nerve-blocking injections or exercise and physical therapy, but some cases require surgical treatment. According to the NIH, the most common surgery is laminectomy, an invasive procedure that removes the lamina—the roof of the vertebra—to make more space for the spinal cord or nerves.

Vertos’ Mild procedure is performed through a small 5.1-mm opening. It does not require general anesthesia, implants, stitches or an overnight hospital stay, according to the company.

"There are millions of patients currently suffering from the debilitating effects of lumbar spinal stenosis who are looking for new treatment options that are safe, effective, and treat the underlying cause of stenosis," said CEO Eric Wichems in a statement.

New investor MVM Life Science Partners led the financing, along with existing backers including Leerink Revelation Partners, Pitango Venture Capital and ONSET Ventures. In addition to expanding commercialization, the funds will also support physician training and education aimed at broadening access to the Mild treatment.

Another spinal stenosis player, Vertiflex, recently closed a $40 million financing round. The company’s Superion Indirect Decompression System is indicated for the treatment of moderate lumbar spinal stenosis and works by decreasing the pressure on affected nerves. The device is implanted via a small incision in the patient’s back.