SpineVision raises E6m

Sofinnova and New Medical Technologies (NMT) have funded SpineVision in its second financing round. The Paris-based company designs and markets spinal implants.

SpineVision was created in 1999 by CEO Gerard Vanacker who has specialised in the marketing of medical instruments at companies including Medtronic Sofamor Danek. His team, including notable surgeons, received initial backing of E2 million from Sofinnova Partners in August 1999.

This enabled the company to fund the development of its range of implants until their certification and market introduction.

Sofinnova has committed a further E2 million and Swiss-based NMT has invested E4 million in this round. SpineVision will finance its marketing phase with this capital including the establishment of its US structures.

The initial clinical operations in the US are scheduled for this autumn and SpineVision plans to start marketing its products in Asia next year.

SpineVision offers orthopedists and spinal neurosurgeons a range of products designed to deal with all vertebral column disorders including scoliosis and intervertebral disk degeneration. The company produces the metal rods and screws widely used in surgery to aid the fusion of vertebrae as a treatment for degenerative and deforming conditions. The first products are currently in clinical evolution. SpineVision’s investors estimate that the potential market for these products is $2 billion, 50 per cent of this market is US-based. Other future projects include plans for innovative non-fusion products such as disc replacements that will offer greater flexibility.

Antoine Papiernik, general partner, represents Sofinnova on SpineVision’s board of directors. He said: “With its innovative, broad and proprietary product range, its positioning in a high-potential market, and an experienced team at the origin of the firm, SpineVision was immediately very appealing to us.”

3i announced that it has backed Spine Next, a company also developing spinal implants. It already has a E2.3 million seed round from 3i and Auriga Ventures under its belt. In a strikingly similar deal the French company has recently secured E5 million in second round financing from 3i, Auriga, Compagnie Financiere Edmond de Rothschild and regional investors SDR Expanso and Socri. 3i also backed spinal implant company, Sofamor.