Entries Written By Team angelMD
The following blog post was written by Dr. Robert Teague. Dr. Teague is an AngelMD Regional Medical Director in the Austin, Texas area. Make sure to follow Dr. Teague on AngelMD.
Physician investors have often found themselves struggling to navigate the byzantine and risky world of startup investing. AngelMD brings a new dimension in advancing medical and healthcare innovation with physician domain and financial leadership.
In the world of healthcare startups, complexity prevails, innovation flounders, and patients often lose. One of the main reasons for these issues is the difficulty of investing in new healthcare companies. Many Angel investors do not have the necessary understanding of regulatory pathways, time to market, and other factors that are specific to healthcare. Physicians have a built in capability of assessing these issues, but needed a systematic way to participate with reasonable risk mitigation.
The 2012 JOBS act changed the rules around investing, and the SEC’s 2015 adoption of equity crowdfunding opened the door to physicians who wanted to invest in the future of healthcare.
With these rules in place, AngelMD began executing a vision to accelerate funding of early stage companies and empowering the expertise of professionals to apply smart capital to the equation. AngelMD has developed a highly curated and specialized platform that leverages the wisdom of the crowd and it focuses exclusively on health technology, device and biopharma. The platform includes assessment tools that identify success factors for early stage health tech companies in order to reduce the risk of investing.
Leveraging their physician members across the country and across specialties, AngelMD has an unprecedented capability to enlist physicians in the technical assessment and support of early stage companies with important and novel technologies. Physician excitement and engagement in this activity is palpable. Physicians are back in the innovation loop and their voice is being heard! Physicians members of AngelMD are leading future technology introduction that will improve outcomes for patients everywhere.
Not only have physicians found an Angel, so have startups, other investors, and most of all, those whose health improves from these advancements.
Arthroscopy is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States (almost 5,000 per day), yet its underlying technology has not seen significant change since the first video arthroscope was introduced in the late 1970s. Indago is an Ohio-based company that is making surgery smarter by developing tools for a highly-efficient, tech-enabled surgical suite. The company’s first product, ArthroFree, is a generation-skipping endoscopic camera that eliminates the wires—and their associated risks and inefficiencies—holding back legacy systems.
Today, a group of AngelMD investors announces the completion of a syndicate funding round for Indago as part of the company’s $5.5 million Series A. The funds will be used to finalize development of ArthroFree, submit the device for FDA approval, staff up for market entry, and begin work on the next product in Indago’s portfolio.
“Working alongside AngelMD’s physician leaders to advocate for our vision of the operating room of the future has been remarkable,” said Indago co-founder and CEO Eugene Malinskiy. “We found both physician and non-physician champions at every event and webcast, and now we have a pool of likely first users, as well as knowledgeable resources for current and future products.”
ArthroFree eliminates expensive consumables, such as fiber optic cables, replacement light bulbs, and sterilization materials that are all required for the current systems. Furthermore, by removing the cables that tether all current arthroscopic cameras to the surgical tower, ArthroFree eliminates the associated trip and fall hazards, fire risks, and vectors for hospital-acquired infections.
“Indago is an innovative company which will revolutionize the world of arthroscopy in the operating room. This is a technological evolution that is long overdue,” said AngelMD Lead Investor Dr. Brian Parsley. “By untethering the arthroscopic hand piece from the light source and cable connections while maintaining high quality imagery and improving efficiency will be a game-changer in the industry. AngelMD gave me an opportunity to invest in this exciting new company and be a part of next wave of change in my operating area.”
Indago’s ArthroFree system has fewer components to set up versus the competition and is drop-in compatible with existing systems. This compatibility removes the need for new training, new workflows, or other disruptions to current processes.
There is likely no one place more impacted by innovation than the emergency room. That’s part of the reason why AngelMD is proud to be in association with the American College of Emergency Physicians. A field of over 60 healthcare startups in emergency medicine applied to participate in the ACEP18 innovatED Innovation Challenge. Through an evaluation process completed by 50 emergency physician members of AngelMD, the top 4 innovations in medical device and top 4 innovations in digital health were selected to participate in pitch competitions in the innovatED exhibit space at ACEP18. Additional startups were allowed to exhibit in the space as well.
The presenters, determined by emergency physicians from ACEP and AngelMD:
The exhibitors, determined by emergency physicians from ACEP and AngelMD:
After all of the pitches were complete, a panel of four emergency medicine experts deliberated on the winner. Attendees of the Innovation Challenge, as well as well as those watching the live stream through AngelMD also cast their vote for their top innovation. With the audience favorite counting as the fifth judge, over 350 participants cast their votes for winners from the Digital Health and Medical Device categories.
UBQ was chosen as the winner for Digital Health. The company specializes in helping emergency departments increase revenues, decrease cost, and improve the care experience for both patients and staff. UBQ’s Resource Prediction Machine uses artificial intelligence to predict the severity of patient illness on arrival. This helps provide for better triage, more efficient queues, and treatment clarity.
In the Medical Device category, HeartHero was chosen as the winner. HeartHero is focused on changing the dismal outcome of sudden cardiac arrest. The company has developed a smaller, lighter AED than any that is currently on the market. The device is powered by a standard 9-volt battery, and is perfect for use in any at-risk household.
Each winning company received a prize package that includes a $5,000 credit toward investment syndication services through AngelMD. These services include investor accreditation verification, the creation of a special purpose vehicle for angel investors, stock issue documents, the collection of digital signatures, collection of funds, and escrow service for the investment syndicate.
The two companies will be invited back to ACEP’s 2019 conference in Denver, where they will be provided with a booth space valued at over $3,000.
Today, AngelMD is announcing the close of a $594,000 round of funding for Access Vascular, Inc. The syndicate funding is part of the total $3.4 million round that has now been closed by the company.
A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is a critical component to long-term intravenous treatments. However, the status quo for PICC equipment has an inherent problem — the potential for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. These conditions can occur because blood platelets begin to deposit on the PICC’s surface immediately after placement. Based in Massachusetts, Access Vascular has developed the HydroPICC — a PICC developed with proprietary bulk hydrophobic material which is highly resistant to platelet deposit.
“We are grateful for the support that our new and existing investors have given us as we prepare for the roll-out of our first product,” said Access Vascular CEO James Biggins. “In addition to funding the initial post-market use of our FDA-cleared HydroPICC, the funds will support the development of other products in our pipeline. This includes a version of our device that may be capable of controlled release of drugs over an extended period of time to actively kill bacteria over the lifespan of the device.”
Access Vascular has recently passed a number of milestones on its route to market release. In September, the company released the results of its preclinical studies. These studies showed that in in-vitro and in-vivo use, Access Vascular’s HydroPICC achieved a 97 percent reduction in thrombus accumulation versus existing market options.
“I first became aware of the company through AngelMD. Access Vascular has met a huge need for vascular catheters that do not clot and cause complications for patients,” said Syndicate Lead Dr. Min Yoon. “CEO James Biggins discussed the technology in depth, and had a clear strategy to provide a return to shareholders.”
The company intends to begin a limited market release in October of 2018. This release will signal the first commercial use of the device.
More than 115 people die from overdosing on opioids each day in the United States. While opioid addiction itself is nothing new, increased opioid prescription rates since the 1990s have only exacerbated the opioid epidemic, which has officially been declared a public health emergency. Neumentum, Inc. is a California-based company that is developing and plans to commercialize products that have the potential to effectively treat pain, without the risks of abuse, misuse and diversion seen with opioid analgesics.
Today, AngelMD is announcing the close of its latest syndicate investing in Neumentum. The company intends to use the capital to accelerate and complete a Phase I pK study and prepare and initiate Phase III clinical trials for its lead product candidate, NTM-001. NTM-001 is a novel, alcohol-free formulation of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ketorolac in a pre-mixed bag designed for 24-hours of continuous infusion following surgery. It is being evaluated to manage moderately severe acute pain that requires analgesia at the opioid-level, usually in a post-operative setting, potentially reducing the need for opioid pain relievers.
“Neumentum is developing new ways to manage pain without the risk of addiction, misuse or life-threatening side effects seen with opioids. We believe that people in pain deserve alternative treatment options that are more effective and safer than those widely available today,” said Scott Shively, co-founder and chief executive officer of Neumentum. “We are proud to have the support of the AngelMD syndicate and are honored to partner with such a prestigious investor platform. The confidence the physicians that comprise the AngelMD syndicate have in our company serves to bolster the potential for what could be the first continuously infused NSAID to be successfully developed for acute post-operative pain in the US.”
The Phase I study of NTM-001 is designed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of NTM-001 continuous infusion compared with ketorolac IV injection every 6 hours. The study will be comprised of 4 cohorts and will enroll 64 subjects at two sites.
“As physicians, we’re taught to treat the fifth vital sign of pain — a practice which may have caused the opioid crisis that we’re now dealing with,” said Syndicate Lead Investor Dr. Suzanne Manzi. “There are no studies that show proven efficacy of opioids for treating chronic pain. Neumentum may have an answer that helps to shift the paradigm of post-operative pain control to a non-opiate solution.”