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Financings In Brief

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

TransEnterix raises $55 million to commercialize SPIDER surgery system: Start-up plans "early 2010" launch of its SPIDER minimally invasive, single-port, abdominal surgery system, supported by a $55 million, "Series B" financing round, announced Oct. 7. Led by Aisling Capital, the funding will be used to scale up manufacturing and commercial operations, the company says. The device, which recently gained 510(k) market clearance, offers the advantages of traditional laparoscopic surgery but with a single small incision instead of the traditional three to five, TransEnterix claims. "Potential benefits of single-port technology include faster full recovery, less post-surgical pain, less complications and improved aesthetic results due to the absence of multiple scars," according to the company. The privately held firm was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C.; it has raised a total of $75 million to date

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ASCO Meeting In Brief

Brain cancer device makes headway: Israel-based NovoCure plans a near-term PMA submission for its NovoTTF brain cancer device, a portable headgear-based system that relies on low intensity electric fields to disrupt cell division, based on data from a 237-subject trial of recurrent glioblastoma patients reported June 5 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. In the full "intent-to-treat" population, the NovoTTF arm showed statistically similar survival times to "best available" chemotherapies (6.6 months vs. 6.0 months), researchers reported at the Chicago meeting. In the "per-protocol" population - the 80% of patients that completed at least one course of device or drug treatment - NovoTTF patients experienced a statistically significant survival advantage (7.8 months vs. 6.1 months) and a large advantage in response rate (15.1% vs. 5.1%). The CE-marked device, which a patient can wear throughout the day while toting a battery pack in an over-the-shoulder bag, was associated with three to four times fewer infections than standard chemotherapy, plus a reduction in other common side effects. NovoCure is conducting another pivotal trial assessing the impact of combining the device with chemotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastomas. The firm recently raised funds from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and other investors to help fund its clinical trial program (1"The Gray Sheet" Oct. 12, 2009)

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