Brain oxygenation and blood flow are critical for brain function. Impaired oxygenation in the brain can rapidly lead to severe consequences such as cognitive decline, speech impairment, paralysis, coma and even death. Measuring these parameters in patients and during surgery is vital for the immediate diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Luciole Medical, a spinoff of ETH Zurich and the University of Zürich, developed a platform of next-generation devices to monitor brain oxygenation and blood flow.
Luciole Medical AG has now raised CHF 5.3 million in a Series A financing round. New investor SVC Ltd. (SVC Ltd. for Risk Capital for SMEs, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse), led the round with Blue Ocean Ventures, Investiere and B-to-V as co-investors with significant support from existing shareholder ZKB (Zürcher Kantonalbank).
Luciole Medical AG was founded in September 2017 in Zürich as a successor company of NemoDevices AG. Luciole Medical acquired all the rights and know-how pertaining to the system and development from NemoDevices.
In 2016, the company received the CE mark for its minimally invasive probe for use in comatose patients following stroke or traumatic brain injury. Luciole Medical’s second product, a non-invasive patch, is currently under development and will be used in anesthesia and in other conditions where the brain may be exposed to desaturation.
Commercialization on the horizonThanks to the newly raised funds, the company will initiate commercialization of its minimally invasive monitoring probe designed to measure blood oxygen levels in the brain, specifically for patients in intensive care units. In addition, the company will apply its platform toward the further development of its non-invasive patch that is designed to measure oxygen saturation and blood flow of brain tissue in patients undergoing surgery.
“This support from seasoned investors is a transformative step that will allow us to accelerate the development of our next-generation brain monitoring platform,” commented Philippe Dro, CEO of Luciole Medical. “Our goal is to commercialize these important clinical tools that enable physicians to rapidly access critical information on the oxygenation status of the brain.”
Philippe Dro joined the company in 2016. He is an experienced life science manager. Prior to its acquisition by GSK (UK), he served at the vaccine developer GlycoVaxyn AG as CEO and member of the Supervisory Board. Before that, he was leading Endoart S.A. (Switzerland), a medtech company, in the position of CEO and Chairman of the Board through a successful turnaround of the company leading to its acquisition by Allergan (US, NASDAQ: AGN). As member of the founding team, he worked at Axovan, a GPCR biotech which was acquired by Actelion (Switzerland, SWIX: ATLN) in 2003.
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