Sequana Medical AG, a private Swiss medical device company with innovative fluid management technologies, announced today that it has raised CHF 23 million ($26.2 million) in a Series C preferred share financing round led by LSP (Life Science Partners), and co-led by NeoMed Management, VI Partners, BioMedInvest, Entrepreneurs Fund and Capricorn Venture Partners. NeoMed retains its role as the largest investor in Sequana Medical.
Sequana Medical’s alfapump system is a fully implantable battery-powered pump system that automatically and continually moves excess abdominal fluid, called ascites, from the abdominal cavity to the bladder, where it is passed naturally from the body. Refractory ascites is a common complication in patients suffering from liver cirrhosis and certain cancers and affects over 100,000 patients per year in Europe and the US.
“This financing is a significant milestone for Sequana Medical”, said Noel L. Johnson, Ph.D., CEO of Sequana Medical. “Funds will be used for global commercial expansion, initiation of US clinical studies and application of the alfapump technology to new clinical markets. Fluid overload in ascites and other indications is an area of significant unmet clinical need and represents more than a $1 billion market opportunity for Sequana Medical’s proprietary technology. Our clinical and commercial experience to date has demonstrated that the alfapump system is safe and highly effective.”
“We are excited about the Sequana Medical opportunity. The alfapump system provides new hope to patients suffering from refractory ascites,” said Rudy Dekeyser, Ph.D., Managing Partner at LSP’s Health Economics Fund. “The alfapump is a unique innovation that both improves the quality of healthcare and reduces the cost and burden of the care associated with managing refractory ascites.” Rudy Dekeyser will join Sequana Medical’s Board of Directors.
“We are pleased to be joined by LSP and look forward to working closely with them to make Sequana Medical’s highly innovative alfapump system available to patients across the globe. Sequana Medical’s core technology is robust and adaptable to further clinical applications such as lung and respiratory disease, congestive heart failure and renal disease,” said Erik Amble, Ph.D., Managing Partner at NeoMed. “I have had the pleasure to serve as Sequana Medical’s Board Chairman since the Company’s inception.” said Dr. Amble. “I am pleased to announce that Luzi Andreas von Bidder will take on the role of Independent Board Chairman. Luzi brings substantial commercial and management experience to the Sequana Medial Board and we look forward to his guidance as Sequana Medical becomes a global commercial company”.
Additionally, Sequana Medical is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen McGill as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Stephen is an experienced global leader with nearly 30 years of experience in the medical devices industry with specific focus on sales and marketing execution, supply chain management, geographical expansion and business development,” said Dr. Johnson. Stephen most recently served as SVP & GM of International at Angiodynamics. Prior to that, Stephen held key leadership and sales positions with American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, Bolton Medical, Stryker and Allergan.
The Company received CE-Mark for the alfapump system in 2011 and its PIONEER study was published in 2013 in the Journal of Hepatology, Europe’s leading Hepatology journal. A 60-patient multicentre randomised trial will be completed later this year under the direction of Professor Rajiv Jalan at the Royal Free Hospital, London. The Company is commercially active in several European countries and is looking to expand its geographical coverage with the Series C funding.