Healthcare Industry News: Crucell
News Release - September 5, 2007
Finland's Nexstim Completes EUR 8 Million Financing RoundHELSINKI, FINLAND--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Sep 5, 2007 -- Nexstim Ltd., a medical device company developing a revolutionary brain diagnostics and therapy technology, today announced that it has successfully completed a EUR 8 million private placement. New investor HealthCap led the round, which also included new investors LSP (Life Sciences Partners) and Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. Sitra, an existing investor, also participated in the round.
The significant new equity investment will allow Nexstim to accelerate its international sales and marketing activities, and expand its customer base from mainly research institutions to the much larger market for clinical applications. The financing will also enable the completion of a benchmark clinical trial necessary to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) marketing clearance and allow Nexstim to begin commercial sales in the strategically important U.S. market. Jukka-Pekka Särkkä, Managing Director of Nexstim, commented, "It is gratifying to note that leading European life science venture capital funds recognize the value of financing global sales and marketing strategies which are so vital for realizing the true potential of innovations in medical technology."
Nexstim is pioneering Navigated Brain Stimulation (NBS) for brain diagnostics and therapy. NBS combines Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) with stereotactic navigation and ECG/EMG measurement. In NBS, an operator places a small, hand-held coil over the patient's head and delivers a series of short magnetic pulses which briefly activate minute areas of cortex, the upper layer of the brain. EEG signals generated in the brain, or EMG signals from the patient's limbs, are detected by high resolution amplifiers, and a powerful computer analyzes the data in real-time. A standard MR image of the brain structure aligned to the contours of the patient's head allows a technique called stereotactic navigation. From the system monitor the operator sees the exact location of the magnetic pulses relative to the cortex and can thus freely, and precisely, guide the coil over the surface of the brain, much like a car driver using a GPS navigation system. NBS is completely non-invasive, painless and has been shown to be safe over decades of research.
NBS systems have extensive applications in functional brain imaging, including accurate mapping of critical motor and sensory areas of the cortex prior to neurosurgery, evaluating brain damage following stroke, and testing spinal cord integrity. Nexstim believes that the ability of NBS to precisely and reproducibly target TMS within the brain will, in the near future, allow the development of effective therapies for a wide range of brain injuries and diseases, including stroke rehabilitation, major depression and tinnitus.
"Nexstim has developed a technology that has the potential to capture a unique position within the central nervous system (CNS) field. We believe that medical devices, such as Nexstim's NBS, will play an increasing role in the treatment and management of CNS diseases," said Dr. Johan Christenson, M.D., Ph.D, Partner at HealthCap.
Dr. René Kuijten, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, General Partner at LSP, commented, "We are very excited to become a shareholder in this company. Nexstim's technology is addressing a clear unmet medical need and I look forward to playing a role in establishing this technology in clinical practice."
"Sitra is extremely pleased with Nexstim's successful closing of this round of financing. This is the first time that leading European life sciences venture capital funds, HealthCap and LSP, have invested together in a Finnish company. Sitra has had a significant role as an initial investor in the company's earlier financing rounds. The substantial size of this round ensures that the company has an excellent chance of succeeding in becoming a leading international player in its field," noted Juha Vapaavuori, Director, Sitra and member of the board of directors of Nexstim.
In connection with the new share issue, Dr. Johan Christenson from HealthCap, and Dr. René Kuijten from LSP will join Nexstim's Board of Directors.
Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Nexstim Ltd. was founded by Professor Risto Ilmoniemi in 2000 to commercialize the combination of stereotacticly guided TMS and high-resolution EEG measurement. A "spin-out" company of Helsinki University of Technology, Nexstim has the rights to the broad intellectual property generated during eight years of scientific research, primarily at the BioMag laboratory of the Helsinki University Central Hospital. The company has already delivered over 30 systems to hospitals in Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and the USA. Nexstim benefits from a revitalized board and management with long experience in globally commercializing medical technologies, including at Datex Division/Instrumentarium Corp. See www.nexstim.com.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden and Lausanne, Switzerland, HealthCap, is a family of multi stage venture capital funds, investing internationally in life sciences, with the Odlander Fredrikson Group as their exclusive investments advisor. With committed capital exceeding SEK 7 billion, HealthCap is the largest specialized provider of venture capital within life sciences in the Nordic countries and one of the largest independent actors in the sector in Europe. www.healthcap.se
LSP (Life Sciences Partners) is a leading independent European venture capital firm, providing private equity financing to early- to mid-stage life science companies. Since the late 1980s, LSP's management has invested in a large number of highly innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the global life science industry. For example, LSP was a founding investor in Crucell, DNage, Qiagen, Rhein Biotech and Pharming. With EUR 400 million under management and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of Europe's largest and most experienced specialist life science investors. www.lspvc.com
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, is an independent public foundation promoting the well-being of Finnish society under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament. Sitra's one aim is to generate and develop business that is both internationally competitive and profitable. Sitra offer businesses a wide array of development and funding services. Sitra's portfolio includes some 100 companies. www.sitra.fi
About Finnish Industry Investment
Finnish Industry Investment Ltd is a government-owned investment company. The company invests the proceeds accrued from the privatization of state-owned companies in promoting the growth and internationalization of Finnish businesses. Finnish Industry Investment invests in growth companies in all branches of industry, either directly or jointly with private investors. The investments and investment commitments of Finnish Industry Investment amount to some EUR 430 million. www.industryinvestment.com
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