Spine implant co NLT raises $8.8m

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Minimally invasive surgery spinal implant developer Non Linear Technologies Ltd. (NLT) has raised $8.8 million. Moshe (Mori) Arkin and Dr. Uri Geiger’s Accelmed led the round, alongside current investor Peregrine Ventures, which has funded the company since it was at the fund’s Incentive Technological Incubator. Peregrine partner and Teva chairman Philip Frost also invested his own funds. The company has raised $10 million to date, including the present round.

Geiger will become chairman of NLT.

NLT was founded by spinal surgeon Dr. Tzony Siegal, who developed the method for inserting spinal implants in a minimally invasive way. The implants are inserted bit by bit through a thin pipe, wire, or carry wire.

Each part of the implant is inserted in a compressed form, and open when in place in the body. When all the components are inserted, the wire is pulled. Pulling on the wire connects the sections, and the implant acquires its final desired shape.

NLT CEO Didier Toubia says that the technology platform can be used for almost all types of current spinal treatments and implants. The spinal treatment and implants market amounts to $5 billion.

NLT has two main products: vertebrae fusion products (which represent 80% of the US spinal implants market), which is in preclinical testing, and products for strengthening the spine’s stability while retaining its flexibility, which is in clinical trials.

Toubia believes that the present financing will be enough to obtain certification of the vertebrae fusion product and complete the clinical trial for the products that allow patients more movement. “At this stage, we have enough assets to begin penetrating the market. In the US, we’ll seek a partner, and in Europe, we sell on our own through distributors,” he said.

Arkin and Geiger founded AccelMed during the economic crisis in order to exploit opportunities it created to invest in medical devices companies. The fund has several tens of millions of dollars under management. It has invested in Exalenz Bioscience Ltd.(TASE:EXEN), MCS Medical Compression Systems (DBN) Ltd.(TASE:MDCL), Edge Medical Devices Ltd., and Ophthalmic Imaging Systems Inc. (Bulletin Board: OISI).

Geiger told “Globes”, “Although the crisis is more or less over, and valuations for investment in medical devices companies has risen, we’ll continue to invest in companies until we have 6-8 companies in our portfolio, the target we set when we set up the fund.

As for NLT, Geiger said, “We like that the company is developing a solution for minimally invasive spinal surgery that barely changes the surgeon’s work method.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on March 18, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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