Menlo Park-based startup, Intersect ENT, is on a mission to help ear, nose and throat doctors (ENTs) provide better treatments for their patients via a dose of modern technology. Although it harbors long-term hopes for expansion, the company’s initial focus revoles around Sinusitis and, while that may seem niche vertical to some, it’s a condition that the company claims affects one in seven adults in the U.S.
In August 2011, Intersect won approval from the FDA for Propel, which, simply put, is a stent that doctors implant in the sinuses after surgery to help keep them open. The cool part is that, over time, the stent absorbs into the patient’s body post-surgery (so that follow-up surgery isn’t required), slowly releasing a steroid to help control local inflammation, according to Medgadget. In the fall of last year, the company won approval again for the Propel Mini, a miniaturized version of its flagship product designed for “less extensive surgeries,” Medgadget says.
As Intersect has moved to commercialize its products over the past year-and-a-half, in April, Intersect moved into new 32,000-foot facilities in Menlo Park to meet the new demand — space which now houses “all business and manufacturing operations for Propel,” according to The San Francisco Business Times. Now, the company is adding more coin to its coffers to help accelerate production, as the company announced today that it is in the process of completing a $30 million series D round of financing.
The new funding round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from the company’s existing investors, which include Kleiner Perkins, U.S. Venture Partners, PTV Sciences and industry medical device leader, Medtronic. According the the company, the new financing will be used to continue the rapid commercial expansion of Propel and Propel Mini in the U.S. and to fund clinical studies for the company’s latest product — an office-based treatment for those suffering from chronic sinusitis.
To date, the company says, more than 6,000 patients have treated with Propel to correct their Sinusitis, a condition which, by the way, affects more than 31 million people in the U.S. and can significantly impact the quality of life, bringing swollen and inflamed sinuses, shortness of breath, facial pain, headaches and reduced sense of smell and taste. In short, it sucks.
Typically, treatment of chronic sinusitis requires a combination of treatments, including surgery, and more than 500K people undergo these surgeries to treat sinusitis each year. While surgery can be affective, Intersect says that as many as 25 percent of those who undergo surgery end up back on the table to repair sinus obstruction after being treated. The company designed Propel to help ensure the efficacy of initial surgery and to help reduce the incidences of follow-on treatment.
For more, find Intersect ENT at home here.