KIRKLAND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aortica Corporation, an early stage privately held company focused on the development of innovative treatments for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), today announced completion of its Series-A financing. The privately funded round totaled $7 million and was oversubscribed by a factor of 2x. Aortica will use the funds to complete its IDE pivotal study.
In conjunction with the completion of the Series-A financing, the company also announced the appointment of Tom Douthitt as president and CEO. Mr. Douthitt is a medical device industry veteran with 28 years of experience. In addition, co-founder Dr. Ben Starnes joined the company’s board of directors. Dr. Starnes is the Chief of Vascular and Endovascular surgery at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center and will also serve as the company’s Chief Medical Officer.
Aortica has developed an approach designed for treatment of patients with AAA disease who experience anatomical abnormalities, which limit their treatment options to major open surgery. “Approximately 30-40% of patients diagnosed annually in the U.S. with moderate to severe AAA disease are ineligible for less invasive endovascular therapy due to anatomical limitations,” stated Dr. Starnes. “Aortica has developed an approach designed to allow standard endografts to be customized to fit each patient’s unique anatomy. Consequently, patients who previously were faced with a highly invasive surgical course now will have the option of far less invasive endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).”
“EVAR is now the ‘gold standard’ for AAA repair in the U.S., and is associated with lower mortality rates, shorter hospital stays, and faster return to activities of normal daily living when compared to open surgery,” added Mr. Douthitt. “The oversubscription of our Series-A financing is a clear reflection of the enthusiasm around the potential of the technology developed by Dr. Starnes. I am very pleased to be part of the effort to advance this important technology and bring higher quality treatment options to a significant portion of the AAA population requiring treatment.”
About Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Disease
Each year between 150,000 and 180,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). An aneurysm is a large bulge in the aorta (the largest artery in the human body). It gradually expands over time—without any symptoms—until it bursts, causing massive internal bleeding that results in death if not treated at a specialized center immediately. For years major open surgery was the only treatment option, which is risky due to its complicated nature and because it carries a 3.0% mortality rate within 30 days of surgery. In the 1990’s, a new technique for controlling aneurysms was developed using a graft inserted through the femoral arteries. This technique is called endovascular aortic repair (EVAR). EVAR is significantly less invasive than open surgery and is associated with a mortality rate six times lower. Patients recover faster, leave the hospital sooner, and return to activities of normal daily life more quickly. Consequently, EVAR has become the gold standard for treatment of AAA disease.
About Aortica Corporation
Aortica Corporation was founded to design, manufacture, and market tools for treatment of patients with AAA disease who have aortic anatomy that limits their treatment options. While EVAR has become the gold standard for treatment of AAA disease, between 30-40% of patients are not candidates for EVAR because their aortic anatomy is structured in a manner that does not allow an endograft to be anchored properly. The only option for these patients is major open surgery. Aortica has developed a “patient-specific” solution to this problem by combining a patient’s CT scans with its proprietary software and 3-D printing to customize a standard endograft to fit precisely and anchor securely within each patient.