Synergia raises €8.1 million in Series A
Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, 19 February 2018: Synergia Medical SA (“Synergia” or the “Company”), an opto-electronics pioneer developing next generation medical devices for neurostimulation, announces that it has raised €8.1 million in a Series A funding round from new and existing investors.
New investor Newton Biocapital led the Series A round and was joined by other new investors Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise and Belgian regional growth funds SRIW (Société Régionale d'Investissement de Wallonie) and SFPI-FPIM (Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company). The funds will be used to bring Synergia’s vagus nerve stimulation device NAOS through final testing prior to CE mark submission.
Neurostimulation therapy is the delivery of electrical impulses to the nerves or brain to treat neurological disorders, a market estimated to be worth approximately $3.7 billion today. Synergia’s NAOS system is a next-generation, small-form, MRI-safe, implanted neurostimulation device which stimulates the vagus nerve. In Synergia’s novel system, which incorporates the very latest advances in biomaterials, optical components, biosensors and microelectronics, the wires of a traditional neurostimulator have been replaced by optical fibres and photovoltaic cells at the tip of the fibres to convert monochromatic optical energy to electrical impulses.
Synergia is currently developing NAOS for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy, and the Company is conducting advanced-stage testing of the device ahead of CE mark filing expected in 2019. Synergia will also prepare for regulatory approval in the United States where neurostimulation is increasingly prevalent.
In association with the financing, Synergia has also strengthened its Board of Directors with the appointments of Reinhard Krickl as Chairman, and Guy Heynen MD of Newton Biocapital and Pierre Detrixhe of Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise as Non-Executive Directors. Reinhard joined Synergia as an Independent Director in 2017, particularly supporting the Company through this investment round. In almost 20 years in medical devices, including at Medtronic, Inc., Reinhard has gained extensive experience in developing medtech innovation into successful businesses, in both the big corporate as well as the start up spaces. He is also CEO of Phagenesis Ltd, managing its sale to Nestlé Health Science in 2016, which is expected to be completed in 2019.
Commenting on the successful financing, Attila Borbath, Chief Executive Officer of Synergia, said: “The support and endorsement of these leading investors demonstrates the potential for Synergia to make a significant difference to patients with its pioneering technologies. This financing enables us to grow our team, progress the NAOS system through further testing before filing for CE marking, and
prepare for further clinical studies for regulatory approvals in the US. We welcome the support of our new and existing investors and look forward to the contribution that Guy and Pierre will make to the Board.”
Reinhard Krickl, Chairman of Synergia’s Board of Directors, added: “Synergia’s team is an engineering power house and it has developed some truly game-changing technologies that could form the base of a new generation of neurostimulation devices. The impressive developments to-date and ongoing research give us a great deal of confidence in what can be achieved in the next few years with this new funding.
"I’d like to thank the team for what they have achieved already; Jacques van Rijckevorsel on his departure from the Board and Jean-Jacques Verdickt as he transitions out of his role as Chairman for their significant contributions to the creation of this company and technology, and we welcome Guy and Pierre to the Board."
Alain Parthoens, Managing Partner of Newton Biocapital, commented: "Synergia’s innovative solution to the growing global challenge of epilepsy management has the very real potential to be a market disrupting technology. The impressive team has not only already contributed significantly to this market with previous technologies, but has also pioneered world leading technologies in the NAOS system that have significant potential in stimulation beyond epilepsy. We’re very pleased to be able to support this dynamic business at this transformative time and look forward to future success."
About Synergia Medical
Founded in 2013 by Pascal Doguet and Attila Borbath, Synergia Medical is a pioneer in opto-electronics developing transformational medical devices for neurostimulation. Its lead product, NAOS, is a next-generation, small-form, MRI-safe, implanted neurostimulation device for drug-resistant epilepsy, with a range of further therapeutic applications. Synergia’s highly experienced management and advisory teams are leading experts in neurostimulation technologies and opto-electronics. www.synergia-medical.com
NAOS is a next-generation, small-form implantable vagus nerve neurostimulator for use in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, affecting one third of epileptics globally. NAOS’ novel components include an implantable pulse generator (IPG) with unique quartz encapsulation enabling light signal
nerve neurostimulator for use in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, affecting one third of epileptics globally. NAOS’ novel components include an implantable pulse generator (IPG) with unique quartz encapsulation enabling light signal
communications which is 10x faster and safer than conventional radio. The IPG is charged wirelessly and provides bio-sensing and feedback through a light emitter and sensor. A durable fibre-optic lead is transformationally MRI compatible and the novel electrode contains unique photovoltaic cells to convert light signal to stimulatory current through an enhanced electrode cuff. NAOS has global patent protection and is expected to receive its CE mark in 2019.
About Newton Biocapital
Established in 2017, Newton Biocapital is a Belgian venture capital fund focused on financing biotech and life science projects in the "core of Europe" (B, NL, D, F) and Japan for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The fund's approach as lead investor is to support promising start-up projects, as well as neglected or undervalued late-stage projects, in order to mitigate the risks and to create investor value. Its leadership team consists of specialists with long-standing management and investor experience who coach bio-entrepreneurs through the development stages of their projects. Newton Biocapital's mission is to generate substantial financial and societal value.
About Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise
Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise S.A. is a specialised VC fund investing in seed and early-stage startups. The portfolio companies feature some of the leading young technological companies in Wallonia. The “Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise” S.A. belongs to the Investsud Group which is a private equity firm in Wallonia (Belgium), dedicated to accompanying small and medium-sized family companies with equity or quasi-equity funds. www.investud.be
S.R.I.W. Société Régionale d'Investissement de Wallonie (www.sriw.be) provides equity and/or debt to companies that generate added value and employment in Wallonia. S.R.I.W. facilitates the region's economic development, contributing effectively to the modernisation, growth and restructuring of the businesses that make up the Walloon industrial network. In the life science sector, S.R.I.W. is investor in more than 30 companies such as IBA, Celyad, or Ogeda from which it recently exited. Its current portfolio fair value is above €150 million.
The Federal Holding and Investment Company (SFPI-FPIM) centrally manages the federal government’s shareholdings, cooperates with the government on specific projects and pursues its own investment policy in the interests of the Belgian economy. SFPI identified several sectors into which it would be interesting to invest, amongst them innovation in the life-sciences sector. It invests in a direct way (including Biocartis, Bone Therapeutics, IBA and Istar) and through investment funds (including Fund+, Newton Biocapital, Vesalius Biocapital and V-Bio Ventures). SFPI is committed into more than 50 healthcare entities, for a total amount of more than € 130 million.