News Article

TherOx rebounds from discarded IPO with new, $23M round for its device that speeds up heart attack recovery:TherOx has had a withdrawn IPO, snub from the FDA, but looks like it's rebounding with its promising device that could help salvage damaged heart t
Date: Aug 11, 2015
Author: Meghana Keshavan
Source: ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: TherOx Inc of Irvine, CA

TherOx, the maker of a device that could quickly salvage damaged heart tissue after a heart attack, is in the midst of a sizable equity round -- its largest since it a failed IPO attempt during the recession and a snub from the FDA.

TherOx just raised $16.8 million of a proposed $23.1 million equity round, according to a regulatory filing. The privately held Irvine, Calif. devicemaker is using this round to recapitalize and move into a final round of clinical trials that will have 100 participants, Dow Jones reports.

Despite developing this product for more than 20 years, the company has yet to achieve approval. Indeed, an FDA panel in 2009 voted down TherOx's premarket approval application, saying that it showed "only marginal benefit" and potential for risk.

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But investors are still rallying around the long-standing company, as reflected in this fairly hefty fundraise. Its investigational device could, after all, impact a wide market: Heart attack patients. Its "super-saturated oxygen therapy" is meant to prevent heart cell death by minimizing microvascular damage in the region.

In the meantime: TherOx's cartridges deliver highly oxygenated arterial blood directly to the heart -- carrying about five to seven times the normal oxygen concentration. Early clinical trials, from 2007, found the device helped save about 26 percent more damaged heart tissue than the control subjects.

TherOx attempted to go public back in 2008, but as with scads of other tech and life sciences companies, it backed out in 2009 in light of a shuttering IPO window -- and of course, the unfavorable economy.

The company's backers at the time included heavy hitters like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; its 2008 IPO filing came on the heels of a $30 million Series J round. At the time of that filing, TherOx had raised about $120 million since its founding in 1994.

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Since that withdrawal, however, TherOx has remained relatively modest in its fundraises. It's raised about $7 million since it backed out of going public; this current round is by far the largest it's had in years.