TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, Privately held medical device company developing an innovative cell-free technology for regenerating hyaline cartilage, has raised up to $10 million.
CartiHeal (2009) Ltd, a privately held medical device company developing an innovative cell-free technology for regenerating hyaline cartilage, raised up to $10 million, including $5 million in cash and $5 million in options. Half of the sum was raised from new investor, Elron, and the remainder from previous investors, Accelmed and Access Medical Ventures. The financing will be used to accelerate the development of CartiHeal's technology portfolio, including its leading product, the Agili-C(TM), as well as support ongoing clinical studies.
CartiHeal's Agili-C(TM) is a single step arthroscopically-placed implant, indicated for repairing cartilage and osteochondral defects. Agili-C(TM) has demonstrated, in both animal and human studies, an unprecedented ability to regenerate true hyaline cartilage--confirmed by the presence of Type II collagen--without the use of growth factors, stem cells or cell expansion techniques. These results have been confirmed by histological analysis performed by NAMSA, an independent research laboratory. The Agili-C(TM) is CE marked and CartiHeal is currently conducting post-approval clinical studies at leading centers in Europe.
Research has shown that injuries to the articular cartilage, if left untreated, lead to progressive joint changes and early onset of osteoarthritis. The most common treatments for articular cartilage injuries (e.g. microfracture and osteochondral grafting) fall short, since they do not result in regeneration of hyaline cartilage. Agili-C(TM) offers the 1.2 million patients undergoing cartilage repair annually worldwide, the potential for healing the defect with hyaline rather than "hyaline-like" fibrocartilage, possibly preventing the need for future joint replacement surgery in these patients.
"In our post-marketing studies, initial clinical outcomes are very promising. Biopsies and MRIs show the regeneration of hyaline cartilage as early as 6-12 months following implantation. This is nothing short of a technological breakthrough," reports Nir Altschuler, Founder and CEO of CartiHeal. "We welcome our new investor and believe Elron's extensive experience will assist us to become a leading player in the field of cartilage regeneration."
Ari Bronshtein, CEO of Elron, commented, "The investment in CartiHeal attests to our commitment to continue investing in medical device companies based on revolutionary technology with significant potential. Elron's know-how and experience in the biomed field, together with existing investors Accelmed and Access Medical and the Company's management as well as its scientific advisory board, will contribute to CartiHeal's advancement and help it achieve its goals.
Founded in 2009, CartiHeal is a privately held medical device company that develops proprietary implants for the regeneration of cartilage and bone disorders following sports injuries, trauma or degenerative joint changes. CartiHeal is a spin-out of the Department of Biotechnology Engineering at Ben-Gurion University, Israel.
Elron is a leading holding company dedicated to building technology companies, primarily in the field of medical devices. Investments in med-tech companies during the last five years totaled over $150 million.
Elron's portfolio companies include: Given Imaging, a world leader in developing and marketing diagnostic products for visualizing and detecting disorders of the GI tract; Pocared Diagnostics, which is developing a real-time and automated system for infectious diseases diagnosis using optical technology; BrainsGate, which is developing a system for treating ischemic stroke; Kyma, which is developing a remote patient monitoring system for chronic heart failure patients, and; SmartWave, which is developing a fully automatic implantable atrial defibrillator.