Endo Tools Therapeutics has announced the closure of a second round of funding worth EUR 2.5 million (USD 3.3 million) led by a private investor with an existing interest in medical devices.
Endo Tools Therapeutics, a spin-off from the Universite Libre in Brussels, Belgium, is developing Endomina™, an innovative device that adds degrees of freedom and a number of therapeutic channels to existing endoscopes.
Endomina provides gastroenterologists and surgeons with the capability to perform complex movements and use multiple instruments when operating.
It also gives them the freedom to perform manipulations which were previously possible only via laparoscopic access.
These devices offer new possibilities for advances in flexible endoscopy and for the treatment of serious conditions such as obesity, type II diabetes and tumors of the digestive system.
For the patient, the reduced requirement for anesthesia associated with Endomina means a shorter stay in hospital, even treatment as an outpatient, and improved comfort.
For hospitals and health systems, Endomina means a reduction in the overall cost of intervention. More than 200,000 procedures of this type are carried out each year in Europe, representing a market worth EUR 2 billion (USD 2.6 billion).
The first clinical trials, led by Professor Jacques Deviere at Erasme hospital in Brussels, Belgium, demonstrated that the operations were safe and workable.
They also helped Endo Tools Therapeutics to identify a number of ways to improve its products so that, for example, a stomach volume reduction can be carried out more quickly and easily, making the tools accessible to all operating gastroenterologists.
The funding will support the production of these new devices and the award of CE mark approval within the next few months. It will also enable the launch of a pan-European clinical study (in France, Germany, Belgium and Italy).
This is intended to demonstrate the efficacy and durability of complex sutures for suturing together the opposing walls of the stomach (using inverted sutures to join serosa to serosa/mucosa to mucosa) in the primary treatment of morbid obesity and in repeat bypass surgery.
The initial results of the pilot study of 10 to 15 patients are expected in the first quarter of 2014, to be followed in the third quarter by the results of the multi-center study of around 75 patients.
These studies will enable the launch of the health insurance reimbursement process in the major European countries.
In addition to this new funding, Endo Tools Therapeutics will also have access to its new partner's accumulated experience in medical devices.
Technological synergies have already been identified, particularly with regard to knowledge and access to advanced materials and manufacturing processes.
“For years, gastroenterologists have been limited to line-of-sight movements in their practice of endoscopy. Endomina offers them the option of working with both hands, performing complex procedures such as tying a suture knot inside the stomach, something which has not been possible up until now,” said Professor Jacques Deviere, director of the Department of Gastroenterology at Erasme hospital. “I think this is the first step towards real endoluminal surgery.”
“We are delighted with this new round of funding, which will help us to develop our Endomina technology, offering a solution that provides a true complement to current surgical techniques in the treatment of obesity, type II diabetes and cancers of the digestive system,” said Alexandre Chau, CEO of Endo Tools Therapeutics.