WISE Srl raises EUR 6.5 million for clinical validation of novel neuroelectrodes for brain monitoring and spinal cord stimulation
May 25, 2017
Minimally invasive, highly conformable, foldable and stretchable electrodes for growing Neuromonitoring and Neuromodulation markets being developed
WISE Srl, a medical device company developing next-generation implantable neuromodulation leads announces today the closing of a EUR 6.5 million series B financing round, led by Principia SGR, an Italian Venture Capital firm. Existing investors Atlante Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, F3F and Antares joined the round.
WISE develops novel, highly flexible and stretchable implantable neuromodulation leads for the treatment of a range of neurological conditions based on its proprietary Supersonic Cluster Beam Implantation (SCBI) technology. By means of the new financial round, WISE aims to market its first product for acute use, Cortical Electrodes for intraoperative monitoring, and to conclude the development of its breakthrough product, the first percutaneously-implantable paddle lead for Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS).
WISE’s paddles will be foldable, therefore combining the strengths of paddle leads – directional stimulation and precise selection of the stimulation point – with the versatility, simple positioning and easy removal of percutaneous leads. WISE’s Foldable SCS Paddle Leads have the mission to overcome today’s trade-off between leads’ performance and invasiveness of the surgery. Having established in 2016 its 1000 m2 manufacturing plant in Cologno Monzese (Milan, Italy), which comprises equipment and cleanrooms compliant for the production of implantable medical devices, WISE is currently CE marking the Cortical Electrodes and developing the Foldable SCS Paddle Leads.
Antonio Falcone, CEO of Principia SGR, lead investor of this financing round, commented: “We are very pleased with this further investment in WISE Srl, which proves the efficiency and development of this project. WISE researchers and directors are not only meeting our expectations but are doing so in a shorter time than we expected.”
“Thanks to our progresses in product development and to the financial support of our investors, we are now in an excellent position to advance our novel neuromodulation products towards the market,” said WISE’s CEO and co-founder Dr. Luca Ravagnan. “We believe that in the field of SCS, we will be able to offer patients a product which combines for the first time the performance advantages of paddle leads with a minimally-invasive implantation procedure currently reserved to percutaneous leads”, he added.
Dr. Kay Balster, Senior Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds commented: “WISE’s unique and proprietary technology will allow to overcome limitations of current products and will be able to set a new benchmark in the field of neurostimulation of patients. We are very happy to share this vision with the remarkable management of WISE and with an extraordinary group of experienced individual and financial investors from Italy, Switzerland and Germany”.
The leads and extensions presently used in neuromodulation come with two major limitations: breakage and dislocation, caused by the stiffness of the material currently being used and requiring surgical replacement of the electrodes. WISE’s competitive advantage is built on its metallization technology that allows insertion of electronic microcircuits into biocompatible silicones, producing highly elastic electrodes that resist stretching and twisting without the risk of dislocation or electrical failure. WISE’s leads are also easier to manufacture than the current standard, can be tailored to the patient, and have the potential to significantly reduce the risk of tissue inflammation in patients by being smaller and softer.
“The innovative content of the leads under development make us quite confident about their market potential. Consequently, we are very pleased to keep on supporting WISE’s outstanding team along the regulatory path aimed to reach the CE mark”, added Davide Turco, Head of Atlante Ventures.
“After the set up in 2016 of the production plant in Cologno Monzese, WISE is today a manufacturing company ready to enter the neurostimulation market and to contribute to the great development of this sector thanks to its innovative products,” concluded Mario Zanone Poma, Chairman of WISE and co-founder through the shareholder Agite!.
WISE Srl develops novel, highly flexible and stretchable implantable neuromodulation leads for the
treatment of different neurological conditions based on its proprietary Supersonic Cluster Beam
Implantation (SCBI) technology.
Neuromodulation therapy requires electrodes and leads to be surgically implanted to apply electrical
stimuli to neural tissues. The leads produced using WISE’s new SCBI technology consist of electronic
circuits in very thin elastomeric foils, preventing dislocation, breakage or damage commonly
observed in currently available devices. SCBI metallizes stretchable polymers, resulting in more
flexible and easier to produce leads.
WISE develops foldable paddles for less invasive surgical procedures for chronic pain treatment by
spinal cord stimulation, a market with large constant growth rates and an unmet medical need. The
Company is preparing the CE marking and subsequent clinical trials for its first product, a grid
electrode for acute monitoring and stimulation of the cortex.
Founded in 2011 by a team of solid state physicists coming from the University of Milan and by the
angel investor Agite! S.p.A, WISE has so far received funding from Agite!, Atlante Seed and Atlante
Ventures, b-to-v, HTGF, Principia SGR and private investors. Since 2016 the Company has established
its Production Plant in Cologno Monzese, Milan, Italy (1000 m2 wide, comprising cleanrooms and
production laboratories compliant for the manufacturing of implantable medical devices) and has an
office in Berlin, Germany.
For more information, please visit: www.wiseneuro.com.
Dr. Luca Ravagnan
Tel: +39 02 84962493
About Principia SGR
Principia SGR is one of the leading Italian Venture Capital firms. Currently the company manages
three investment funds, called Principia Fund, Principia II and Principia III – Health. Through the first
two funds – today fully invested – Principia has funded about 40 companies in the start-up phase and
by supplying growth capital. Principia III – Health is the first Venture Capital and Growth Capital fund
in Italy specifically dedicated to the healthcare sector and its volume at this day is of €206m. The
fund has invested so far € 53 mln. Goal is to contribute to the development of a sector in Italy that is
characterized by the presence of high skills and internationally recognized quality but suffers
currently from the lack of financial support.
For more information, please visit: www.principiasgr.it.
Tel: +39 02 36589750
Atlante Ventures and Atlante Seed are funds promoted by Intesa Sanpaolo, one of the top banking
groups in the euro zone, dedicated to seed and early stage capital. The Atlante Funds invest in
innovative companies still small but with high growth potential, with a particular attention to those
belonging to the high technology industry. The Atlante Funds are among the most active Italian VC investors both in terms of investment done and in terms of exits and IPOs.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gründerfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).
For more information, please visit: www.htgf.de.
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Kay Balster
Tel: +49 228 823001-00
F3F is an Italian company controlled by biotech and healthcare entrepreneur Laura Iris Ferro. Based in Milan the company has an investment policy aimed at taking stakes in diversified business with high return potential including traditional ones as real estate and innovative ones such as life science.
Antares is an investment company started in 1995 and controlled by Mario Zanone Poma and his family. Part of its investments is dedicated to innovative startups.