Slater-Backed Cardiorobotics Closes $11.6 Million Series A Financing
Newport-Based Medical Device Company Advancing Clinical Development of Snake Robot for Surgery
Providence, R.I., August 3, 2009 – The Slater Technology Fund announced today that one of its portfolio companies, Cardiorobotics, Inc., has closed on an $11.6-million Series A financing. Slater participated in the financing round, which was led by Eagle Ventures. Since 2007, Slater has invested a total of $750,000 in Cardiorobotics.
Cardiorobotics’ main product, called cardioARM, is a snake robot for minimally-invasive cardiac interventions, such as treatments for patients suffering with heart arrhythmias. Cardiac surgery is currently the gold standard treatment option for patients with chronic heart arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, but requires a large breastplate incision to access the heart as well as general endotracheal anesthesia. The heart-lung machine that is required for open-heart surgery adds further morbidity. Performing a single-port, epicardial (outside the heart) intervention in a less invasive manner can dramatically improve patient recovery and significantly decrease risks involved with the current procedures. Funds raised in this round will support the advancement of Cardiorobotics’ clinical product, a clinical feasibility trial on humans, and completion of commercial product for regulatory approval in the United States and the European Union.
Founded in 2005 as Innovention Technologies, Cardiorobotics began as a collaboration between scientists and clinicians from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh., where on-going research and development of the company’s technology continues. In 2007, the company established commercial operations in Newport, R.I., where it has expanded development of the technology for use in a wide range of surgical and interventional applications.
Slater initially invested $500,000 in Cardiorobotics in 2007, coincident with the company’s establishing commercial operations in Rhode Island. Slater committed an additional $250,000 in 2008, together with a number of other Rhode Island-based investors, in a bridge financing which aggregated $1.1 million. In connection with the 2008 investment, Robert C. Beck joined the Board of Directors of Cardiorobotics as representative of the Slater-affiliated investors. Mr. Beck is with the investment management firm of Beck, Mack & Oliver, based in New York City, and maintains a summer home in Little Compton, RI.
"Cardiorobotics has made major strides toward its goal of becoming a leader in surgical robotics," said Richard G. Horan, senior managing director of the Slater Technology Fund. "We are pleased to join with others to support the company as it moves into the critical phases of clinical trials and commercialization."
"This investment will be used to advance our core product, the cardioARM, toward commercialization," said Dr. Samuel Straface, Cardiorobotics, Inc., president and CEO. "We’re pleased to have the Slater Technology Fund and other investors share our vision in providing single-port, off-pump treatments for patients with heart arrhythmias."
About Slater Technology Fund
The Slater Technology Fund is a state-backed venture capital fund that invests in new ventures committed to basing and building their businesses in Rhode Island. Slater focuses its resources on the support of entrepreneurs who have the vision, leadership and commitment to build substantial commercial enterprises. Slater typically invests at the inception stage in the development of a new venture, often based upon ideas and technologies originating in academic institutions and/or government research laboratories located within the region. In most cases, investments are premised upon the possibility of raising substantial follow-on financing, from venture capital investors or from strategic partners, with a view toward accelerating the generation of significant numbers of high-value, high-wage jobs over the intermediate to longer-term. For more information, visit www.slaterfund.com.
About Cardiorobotics, Inc.
Cardiorobotics, Inc. is developing snake robot technologies for use in a wide range of surgical and interventional applications. The company’s products have very high degrees of freedom of movement, are tele-operated, and are able to steer a self-supported, non-linear path from a single access port and deploy an array of special tools and imaging technologies. Within the medical field, the company plans ultimately to serve a number of different specialist areas, including: minimally-invasive cardiac surgery, cardiac electrophysiology, NOTES and a range of single-port abdominal and thoracic procedures. Cardiorobotics employs thirteen people at its Technology & Research Center in Pittsburgh, PA and the business and product development facility located in Newport, R.I. The company is in its pre-clinical stage and expects to begin its first human clinical trials in 2009.
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