Medical device company Tryton raises $24M

dranii@newsobserver.comJanuary 7, 2013 

Shawn McCarthy, CEO of Tryton Medical


Medical device company Tryton Medical has raised $24 million in new funding that it expects will see it through approval of its first product for the U.S. market.

The privately held company, which moved its headquarters from Boston to Durham in 2008 and previously raised $37 million in venture capital, announced Monday that it obtained the new funding from its current investors.

Tryton’s stents aren’t available yet in the U.S. market but have been approved and are available in Europe, Russia and the Middle East, where they have been used to treat more than 6,500 patients.

“We’re obviously high on what the company has already (accomplished) and what we believe will be significant milestones in the future,” said Rick Anderson, a member of Tryton’s board of directors and managing director of PTV Sciences, the Texas venture capital firm that led the latest financing.

Raising $24 million in venture capital is a noteworthy achievement in what is a difficult fundraising environment.

The amount of money raised by Triangle companies during the first three quarters of 2012 – $82.8 million – was the worst for local companies since The News & Observer began reporting in 1999 the amount of funding raised each quarter. Indeed, the $24 million raised by Tryton exceeds the amounts raised by Triangle companies collectively in each of the first two quarters of last year, according to reports from the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data supplied by Thomson Reuters.

Tryton’s stents are designed to prop open bifurcated arteries – arteries that divide into a main artery and a “side branch” – to avoid blockages that can lead to heart attacks. Stents now available to U.S. physicians don’t work well for bifurcated arteries; the most popular alternative is coronary bypass surgery.

The stents “takes a very complex treatment and turns it into a very simple, straightforward procedure,” Anderson said. “Upon U.S. approval, where we can access the biggest market in the world, we feel very confident...this product will be widely adopted, mainly driven by the fact that patients don’t have to go to surgery.”

The new funding should see the company “all the way through U.S. approval, which is projected to be in 2014,” CEO Shawn P. McCarthy said. The company doesn’t disclose revenue numbers.

Tryton anticipates filing its application for marketing approval before the end of the year after compiling and analyzing data on 704 patients who participated in the company’s clinical trial.

McCarthy said the company’s stents aren’t expected to face any direct competition for years, since no one else is conducting Food and Drug Administration-approved studies for similar stents.

McCarthy said the new funding also will be used to develop a second stent system and “to expand into key markets in Asia,” including Japan.

The second stent system that Tryton is working on would be used to address narrowing of the left main coronary artery. No stents on the market deal with this problem, which is typically treated by surgery, McCarthy said.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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