News | June 01, 2012

Kona Medical Secures $30 Million in Financing to Pursue Renal Deneravtion Hypertension Therapy

Funding to be used for clinical trials and to expand staff and facilities

June 1, 2012 Kona Medical Inc. announced it has raised $30 million in Series C financing to advance its novel hypertension therapy. Existing investors Essex Woodlands, Domain Associates, Morgenthaler Ventures and BioStar Ventures participated, and the financing was led by a large-cap medical technology company. The terms of the financing provide for the potential inclusion of additional investors.

The company also announced that John Bowers, former senior vice president at SonoSite Inc., has joined the company as chief operating officer.

Based in Bellevue, Wash., Kona Medical is developing an ultrasound-based approach to address severe high blood pressure (hypertension) through ablation of the renal nerves. Renal nerves are located proximal to the renal arteries, which provide blood flow to the kidneys. Renal nerves are part of the sympathetic nervous system and play a significant role in determining blood pressure. Recent clinical data have shown that ablation of renal nerves can result in profound and lasting reduction in hypertension in patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled by medication. Industry analysts have forecasted that the future market for devices affecting renal denervation may reach several billion dollars worldwide. Kona’s proprietary technology, which utilizes externally delivered ultrasound energy to ablate the renal nerves, can enable non-invasive treatment for drug-resistant hypertension and has significant potential advantages over alternative methods.

“I am pleased to have leading healthcare investors recognize the tremendous potential of Kona’s therapy in addressing the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who have uncontrolled hypertension,” said Michael Gertner, M.D., founder and CEO of Kona Medical. “We are also delighted to have John Bowers join the Kona team to provide additional leadership during this important period for the company.”

John Bowers is an experienced medical device executive who most recently was senior vice president of strategic development at SonoSite Inc. (recently acquired by Fujifilm). Previously, Bowers was CEO of Northstar Neuroscience and held various executive roles at Guidant Corp. and Eli Lilly and Co. While at Guidant, Bowers led the team that acquired enabling technologies for the Xience drug-eluting stent, which is now marketed by Abbott and is the worldwide market share leader.

Kona Medical will use proceeds from the financing to fund clinical trials and to add staff in both Bellevue and the San Francisco Bay area as it advances its technology into commercial development.

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