Vessi Medical, a portfolio company of The Trendlines Group Ltd. announced that it secured $1.7 million in funding for its cryoablation solution for superficial bladder cancer. Participating in the financing were Agriline, The Trendlines Group, the Israel Innovation Authority, and ExitValley investors. Vessi’s first-in-human (FIH) study demonstrating safety and efficacy of the Vessi intravesical cryotherapy device is planned for Q1 2021.
Vessi Medical reports their minimally invasive ablation solution for superficial bladder cancer (or non-muscle invasive bladder cancer – “NMIBC”) is expected to improve the quality of life for many of the two million people globally suffering from NMIBC. NMIBC patients suffer from symptoms including problems with urination, pain, and blood in urine, as well as sexual dysfunction, mental health effects, and a significant decrease in quality of life. The immediate worldwide addressable market of low-grade papillary tumors (70% of NMIBC patients) is estimated at $1.2 billion per year.
Current treatment, Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT), is a costly, invasive surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia in hospital and is often inadequate (in up to 80% of cases, the cancer returns). Patients often require multiple repeat procedures due to return of the cancer which further reduces quality of life.
Vessi’s minimally invasive NMIBC solution provides a new, first-line outpatient clinic treatment alternative to surgery using bladder-specific cryotherapy technology. The Vessi system consists of a standalone console and a disposable device inserted transurethrally into the bladder.
Vessi Medical, CEO, Eyal Kochavi remarked, “Demonstrating the technology in humans is an important milestone towards making cryo-spray ablation a significant tool for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer. We are currently focused on bladder cancer, but the Vessi technology will address other bladder diseases, such as overactive bladder, benefiting patients, physicians and the healthcare system.”
Trendlines Incubators Israel CEO, Barak Singer added: “Vessi Medical has made tremendous progress in their product development. We are very pleased with the company’s ability to complete this financing during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made fundraising more challenging. The importance of minimally invasive treatment solutions that do not require hospitalization has been highlighted by the pandemic and supports the move to less centralized healthcare options.”
Mr. Vincent Tchenguiz, a British entrepreneur and beneficiary of the trust that owns Agriline, commented, “We recognize the strength of Vessi’s platform technology and believe that the company’s product has the potential to offer unique value to patients suffering from bladder cancer. We are keen to work with the company as it matures and look forward to helping it fulfil its mission to significantly improve results for all those involved – the patients, the physicians and the healthcare system as a whole.”