LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 1, 2010 NanoPowers SA, amedical device company that leverages its unique artificial muscle technologyto restore or improve muscle function, today announced the closing of a CHF 5million ($4.5 million) series A financing. The financing round was led byNovartis Venture Funds (NVF). Also participating in the financing wereInitiative Capital Romandie (ICR) and Gran Plasa SA. Novartis Venture Fundswere also seed investors in the company.
Martin Horst, PhD, chief executive officer, said: "We are very pleasedwith the ongoing support of the Novartis Venture Funds, and welcome ICR andGran Plasa to our investor base. We will use the proceeds from the financingto finalize the development of our lead product ARTUS, a breakthroughartificial urinary sphincter, and initiate the first clinical studies. ARTUSaddresses a huge unmet medical need, and is the first device of its kind thatalso lends itself to be easily implanted in women, who are by far the mostaffected by severe incontinences. Incontinence constitutes a devastatingdisability, affecting self-confidence and self image, and often leads tosocial isolation."
Florent Gros, Managing Director of the Novartis Venture Funds, said: "Weare excited to support NanoPowers' development of their breakthroughtechnology applied to artificial sphincters. Incontinence is one of thelargest untapped markets in the medical device industry, while demographicchanges in western countries are significantly increasing the incidence ofincontinences. We believe that ARTUS has the potential to significantlyimprove patients' quality of live, while substantially reducing treatmentcosts."
NanoPowers & technology platform
NanoPowers was founded by Piergiorgio Tozzi, MD, of the UniversityHospital of Lausanne (CHUV), and Professor Daniel Hayoz, of the CantonalHospital of Fribourg and the CHUV. Capitalizing on their long experience insurgery, vascular medicine, and innovative device development, they havesince 2004 developed a unique artificial muscle technology. NanoPowers'initial focus is on the application of this proprietary technology in thedevelopment of artificial muscles for the treatment of severe incontinences.NanoPowers was selected in 2009 by the Swiss Commission for Technology andInnovation (CTI) as one of the best innovative medical technology companies,and won the prize for best abstract at the European Association of Urologycongress in Barcelona in 2010. Dr. Tozzi is chairman of the company's boardof directors; Dr. Hayoz is a director.
About Novartis Venture Funds
Novartis Venture Funds, established in 1996, have currently over $750million under management and is invested in more than 60 private companies.The Novartis Venture Funds invest in companies that have the potential tolead the next innovation wave in core therapeutic fields or explore newbusiness areas that will be critical to patient care. The NVF team of eightinvestment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MAbrings together extensive experience in R&D and venture capital.(http://www.venturefund.novartis.com)
About Initiative Capital Romandie (ICR)
ICR is a Swiss venture capital fund, managed by DEFI Gestion SA, aLausanne based private equity fund advisor. ICR was founded in 2006 byRetraites Populaires Vie, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, Centre Patronal, andEtablissement Cantonal d'Assurance. ICR supports high-tech starts-ups basedin the French part of Switzerland. (http://www.defigestion.ch). In connectionwith the investment in NanoPowers, Claude Suard, partner at DEFI Gestion,will join the NanoPowers' board of directors as an observer.
About Gran Plasa
Gran Plasa SA, a private fund based in Fribourg, Switzerland, invests inhigh-tech, construction, and real-estate companies in Switzerland and acrossEurope.
SOURCE NanoPowers SA