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VertiFlex secures $14 million for clinical trial

The funding will be used to complete patient testing of its new spinal implant for treating back pain.

BY TINA BORGATTAPublished: February 03, 2011 10:15 AM

Photo by Jacek Chabraszewski – Fotolia
San Clemente-based VertiFlex has secured $14 million in funding to complete a clinical trial on a new treatment for back pain.

The investment comes from Thomas, McNerney & Partners, and the deal includes a provision that could provide for another $14 million, which would help advance global market development of VertiFlex’s Superion Interspinous Spacer IDE once the study is completed later this year.

Three other investors – Aberdare Ventures, Alta Partners and New Enterprise Associates – already provided initial funding for the trial, which includes testing on more than 275 patients diagnosed with moderate lumbar stenosis.

“We ... are highly encouraged by the clinical results to date, which are consistent with data from two independent studies of the Superion device outside the U.S.” said Earl R. Fender, VertiFlex president and CEO.

The Superion ISS is a minimally invasive spinal implant that can be administered on an outpatient basis, without disruption to muscle or soft tissue. More than 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with the condition each year.

“We strongly believe in the role interspinous spacers play in the continuum of care for lumbar spinal stenosis,” said James E. Thomas, co-founder and partner of Thomas, McNerney & Partners. “Because Superion is implanted percutaneously, interventional surgeons will greatly expand the market opportunity, as will traditional spine surgeons who seek an alternative to current offerings.”

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