KALAMAZOO — A medical device company with a new technique for fighting high blood pressure has won a $5.3 million preferred stock investment.

Kalamazoo-based Ablative Solutions Inc. announced the investment from BioStar Ventures and the Michigan Accelerator Fund, and multiple angel investors.  Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP served as legal advisor to ASI for the transaction.

ASI says it is developing a “significantly different” approach to renal denervation, a new therapy for high blood pressure and other diseases related to overactive sympathetic nerve activity.

The sympathetic nerves that run along the renal artery — large arteries that go into the kidneys so the kidneys can filter the blood — play an essential role in controlling blood pressure. But when those nerves are overactive, they can contribute to high blood pressure.

Renal denervation has been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure in patients who are not effectively treated by other therapies. De-activating these nerves modulates the signaling process, and helps to reduce blood pressure. Unlike other approaches to renal denervation, which deliver destructive energy through the entire renal artery wall, ASI has developed a unique device that targets treatment directly to the nerves that encircle the renal artery, without damaging the artery wall — a system that ASI calls PeriVascular Renal Denervation (PVRD).

“Hypertension has an extraordinary impact on health, but it is a disease that is underappreciated,” said ASI CEO and chief medical officer Dr. Tim Fischell. “There is good reason for the excitement surrounding renal denervation — it produces a persistent, durable reduction in blood pressure with a minimally invasive procedure. ASI seeks not only to simplify and streamline the denervation procedure, but, more importantly, to do so without damaging the vessel wall, by delivering the therapy directly to where the sympathetic nerves reside, just outside the blood vessel.”

Added ASI president and COO Vartan Ghazarossian: “We believe that ASI’s simple, elegant approach will address the clinical need effectively. Our technology development is driven by the awareness that less is more — providing optimized ablation of the sympathetic nerve less invasively and with less equipment and a shorter procedure time.”

Company officials said they believe clinical evaluations will begin in 2013.

ASI was founded by two proven medical device entrepreneurs, Tim Fischell, M.D. and David Fischell, Ph.D. With executive experience in both biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, Ghazarossian is uniquely positioned to lead the development of ASI’s novel device-chemistry-based therapy.

Steven Almany of BioStar Ventures, a member of ASI’s Board of Directors, said: “The therapeutic potential of perivascular renal denervation is very attractive, and we are very pleased to invest in ASI’s team as they develop their unique approach.”

More at www.ablativesolutions.com.


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