Health, Wellness & Biotech

HistoSonics Nabs $85M For Device To ‘Liquify’ Tumors

Illustration of startup rocket in stomach x-ray.

If you can prove your product with clinical data, the funding will follow.

HistoSonics, a medical device company, illustrated this on Tuesday with $85 million in funding led by Johnson & Johnson for a futuristic device it says could demolish tumors in patients with liver cancer. Additional participation came from Venture Investors, Yonjin Venture and Lumira Ventures.

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HistoSonics says its device, named Edison (not to be confused with the Edison blood testing device championed by defunct Theranos), pulses bubbles through the human tissue that explode, breaking apart the tumor. It’s a noninvasive process called histotripsy.

HistoSonics completed a series of clinical trials and sent promising data over to the FDA. It expects to launch the Edison next year and is already developing clinical trials that target kidney tumors and pancreatic tumors.

One device to rule them all

HistoSonics and similar platforms are streamlining a new path to profitability: make one device that can do many things. 

Instead of developing multiple drugs or devices to target a slew of different types of tumors, the Edison platform could, theoretically, be used for tumors across the board. This saves the company on research and development costs, and the platform can make money while the startup pursues clinical trials for other use cases. 

I have been following HistoSonics’ progress for years and believe that histotripsy offers a unique non-invasive solution capable of addressing a variety of significant unmet clinical needs,” Erica Rogers, the president and CEO of Silk Road Medical and HistoSonics board member, said in a statement.

Earlier in March, medical robotics startup Quantum Surgical received FDA clearance for its ablation device that attacks tumors in the liver, and the company was quick to begin pursuing studies that would test the device on other organs as well.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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