University of Michigan entrepreneurs secure $11 million to develop new prostate disease treatment
University of Michigan entrepreneurs in Ann Arbor have secured $11 million in financing to launch a company which will develop a medical device to treat prostate disease with tightly focused ultrasound pulses, the University of Michigan said in a press release today.
The new company, Ann Arbor-based HistoSonics Inc., will use the capital to develop its histotripsy technology, licensed from U-M and developed by scientists in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Urology, the press release said. Histotripsy is a non-invasive, image-guided system that removes tissue with robotic precision.
The founders of the company and inventors of the technology are Charles Cain, Brian Fowlkes, Tim Hall, Zhen Xu and Dr. William Roberts, all from the University of Michigan.
The U-M Office of Technology Transfer and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership at the Department of Biomedical Engineering provided funds and expertise that helped Cain and his colleagues prepare their invention for the marketplace, the release said. The Coulter Project teams a biomedical engineer with a clinician from the U-M Medical School. Cain's medical collaborator is Roberts, a urologist.
Most ultrasound products on the market today use heat to destroy unwanted tissue, the press release said, but Cain and his colleagues used cavitation - the production of tiny energetic bubbles - to create a surgical scalpel that liquefies tissues without heat.
The first clinical application will be treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that affects more than 2 million men in the United States. About 400,000 BPH patients are treated surgically each year.
The $11 million Series A financing is being provided by Venture Investors of Ann Arbor and Madison, Wis. Venture Investors worked closely with Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Hatteras Venture Partners, Early Stage Partners, and TGap Ventures in securing the funding, the release said.