Sotera Medical Corporation, a medical device company developing a novel device for use in cardiac procedures to treat atrial fibrillation, has added an investor to its seed funding round with an investment from Valley Growth Ventures (VGV). “It’s exciting to have VGV as a partner. Their team brings a lot of knowledge and a strong network of relationships in addition to their investment capital,” says William Fuller, CEO and co-founder. “The addition of VGV’s investment puts us in position to achieve our first clinical milestone in 2019.”

This is one of the first investments for VGV, a fund based in Youngstown, Ohio, that supports high-growth, early-stage companies across the state, with a preference for those in Northeast Ohio. “Our investment in Sotera Medical represents our belief in the team and their technology. Along with being an excellent investment opportunity, we see Sotera Medical as an important advancement in the treatment of atrial fibrillation,” says VGV managing director Ernie Knight. With this investment, VGV joins other seed round investors including JumpStart Inc., North Coast Angel Fund, Northwest Ohio Tech Fund II managed by ProMedica Ventures, private investors, and the State of Ohio.

Sotera’s unique device addresses an important unmet clinical need in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heartbeat that, if left untreated, can lead to blood clots, stroke, or heart failure. AF is often treated with a procedure called catheter ablation, which is not without risk to the esophagus. To address this risk, Dr. Emile Daoud, co-founder of Sotera and director of electrophysiology and professor of clinical medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center — along with a team of physicians — developed a unique device to better protect the esophagus during catheter ablation. “Catheter ablation technologies for the treatment of AF are continually advancing and improving, but the problem of protecting the esophagus remains in the forefront,” said Daoud. “Sotera’s innovative technology addresses an important unmet need that improves patient outcomes and safety.”