OmniSonics Medical Technologies Inc.
This article was originally published in Start Up
OmnisSonics Medical Technologies is using ultrasound to precisely destroy tissue. The initial application of its technology will be to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
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The company that did the largest private financing last years was, surprisingly, Wilmington, MA-based OmniSonics Medical Technologies. The company is developing an innovative technology that uses acoustical energy to break up clots, plaques, and other occlusions wherever they occur in the human vasculature. OmniSonics' Series C financing will ultimately wind up raising a total of $44 million. The company's first approval, expected later this year, will come in treating peripheral disease, but the golden ring is clearly coronary arteries and that includes chronic total occlusions, a challenge that has been particularly vexing for both interventional cardiologists and medical device developers. Indeed, the recent news that CTO start-up Lumend Inc. is significantly scaling back its operations is a case in point.
Innovative device companies have always had to contend with the Sword of Damocles of unexpected technological obsolescence, but for would-be developers of interventional devices for the prevention of restenosis, the sword is dangling perilously close. In the RAVEL trial, a 238-patient clinical trial on a drug eluting stent, treated patients experienced 0% restenosis compared to 26% in the control group. Now, device developers with alternatives to stents reposition themselves to sustain businesses in the face of potentially shrinking target markets. Many argue that they will serve certain applications better than stents; others hope to work with drug-coated stents to enhance performance, many believe that economics will leave room for alternative approaches, and still others are getting out of the coronary business entirely.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered extraordinary levels of collaboration. But competition remains, and many newly created coalitions have yet to be stress tested.