Healthcare Industry News:  colonoscopy 

Devices Venture Capital

 News Release - October 31, 2006

Avantis Medical Systems closes Series B financing - $12 million to fund development and commercialization of Third Eye Retroscope(TM) device for improving detection of colon cancer

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 31 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Avantis Medical Systems, Inc. announced today that it has raised $12 million in its Series B round of financing. Avantis is developing the Third Eye Retroscope(TM), a new device for detection of colon cancers and polyps that are hidden from the view of a standard colonoscope.

The Series B financing will be used to fund development and commercialization of the Third Eye Retroscope(TM) in the United States, including ramping up manufacturing and distribution.

The round was led by Montreux Equity Partners and joined by existing investors.

Fred Seddiqui, founder, President and CEO of Avantis, said, "We are very excited to be joined by Montreux, one of the leading venture capital firms focusing on life sciences investing in the US. We look forward to working closely with Montreux and our other investors as we continue to develop and commercialize the Third Eye Retroscope."

The Third Eye Retroscope(TM) is passed through the instrument channel of a standard colonoscope until it extends beyond its tip. As it emerges, the device automatically turns around 180 degrees to aim "backward" toward the tip of the colonoscope. Then, as the colonoscope is withdrawn from the colon, the device provides a continuous retrograde view to reveal polyps, cancers and other lesions that might be hidden from the view of a standard colonoscope.

colonoscopy is widely regarded as the "gold standard" for detection of abnormalities in the colon. However, research has revealed that many polyps and cancers can be missed during colonoscopy, especially if they lie behind folds in the colon wall. This new device reveals the opposite side of those folds.

A laboratory bench study found that use of the Third Eye Retroscope(TM) resulted in a dramatic improvement in the ability of endoscopists to detect simulated polyps in anatomical models. A first human use study is currently in progress and a larger study will launch in Q1 2007.

John J. Savarese, MD, Managing Director at Montreux Equity Partners, said, "Avantis has developed an exciting new technology that will provide significant benefits to patients, physicians and the health-care system. Their 'chip-on-catheter' technology platform will also be useful for other applications in endoscopy."

The Third Eye Retroscope has not yet been submitted for domestic (FDA) or international regulatory clearance and thus is not available for sale.

About Avantis

Avantis Medical Systems, Inc. is a medical device company founded to develop and manufacture catheter-based endoscopic devices. Based in Sunnyvale, CA, the Company's initial focus is on devices for use in detecting and treating cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The Avantis team has many decades of experience in the medical device industry, and focuses on developing solutions for problems, hazards and inconveniences associated with traditional technologies. The Company is developing an extensive portfolio of products based on the convergent technologies of micro-chips and reinforced catheters.

About Montreux Equity Partners

Montreux Equity Partners, based in Menlo Park, CA, is a leading life sciences focused venture capital firm that invests in pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

The firm's investment team brings more than 70 years of operating and investing experience as entrepreneurs, managers and investors of life sciences focused companies. Montreux investment professionals have been involved as founders, investors and board members in more than 45 life science companies over the past 25 years.

Source: Avantis Medical Systems

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