SCOTTSDALE, AZ—November 29, 2010—Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), the technology venturing arm of Arizona State University, has finalized a series of licensing transactions with EndoStim, Inc., a St. Louis medical device startup, spinning out applications for the groundbreaking neurostimulation technologies developed by an ASU researcher.
EndoStim will use ASU’s platform technologies to further develop implantable micro-electronic devices to aid in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), urinary incontinence, and sexual dysfunction through local neurostimulation. These disorders affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. EndoStim believes a significant percentage of them could benefit from neurostimulation through these micro-electronic devices, replacing drug treatments and invasive surgical procedures that can have significant side effects and, in some cases, limited efficacy.
“The patented technology licensed from AzTE will significantly advance our commercial development of highly miniaturized neurostimulators that can be delivered with a minimally invasive procedure in an outpatient setting,” said Bevil Hogg, EndoStim’s President and CEO. “EndoStim is on a fast-track plan to get into the U.S. clinic an advanced, lower-cost treatment for restoring physiological function through neurostimulation to treat sphincter-related and other disorders.”
ASU’s neurostimulation technology was an important factor in EndoStim’s raising more than $6 million in Series B equity financing led by Santé Ventures of Austin, Texas. The company plans to use the funding to continue clinical trials overseas and pursue FDA approval for use of the neurostimulator for these disorders.
“Our work with EndoStim demonstrates yet again the real-world impact ASU research has in advancing a new technology,” said Augustine Cheng, managing director of AzTE. “Now, with the additional financing, EndoStim will be able to accelerate its commercial translation of ASU technologies into medical products that could benefit hundreds of millions of people in the United States and worldwide.”
Bruce Towe, a Harrington Biomedical Engineering professor in ASU’s School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering developed the underlying technology EndoStim will use. His patented technology utilizes ultrasound energy to power microsized stimulators, which are small enough to pass through the lumen of a needle. This technology enables stimulation without the need for implanted battery power and leads, lending itself to a wide range of applications.
Earlier this year, Thomas Friedman, a multiple Pulitzer Prize winner, hailed EndoStim in the New York Times as “…the epitome of the new kind of start-ups we need to propel our economy…” The company was launched by a leading gastroenterologist, Dr. Virender Sharma, an adjunct professor at ASU’s Biodesign Institute and former professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Dr. Raul Perez, president of Oakwood Medical Investors, a venture capital firm based in St. Louis, Missouri.
Bevil Hogg, a successful entrepreneur and senior executive, joined EndoStim as its founding CEO after previous experience as founding CEO of several other technology-oriented companies — most recently Stereotaxis Inc., an interventional robotics company, which he took public during his tenure. Earlier in his career, Hogg was a founder of Trek Bicycle Corp.
EndoStim is pursuing even deeper connections with ASU. Hogg was recently named to the advisory board of Venture Catalyst at ASU, a new initiative intended to promote, facilitate and advance entrepreneurial ventures led by ASU faculty, students, and affiliated companies. Additionally, EndoStim is considering linkages with SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, while looking to continue its collaborations with Professor Towe and his team at ASU.
About Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE)
AzTE is a non-profit organization which operates as the exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization for ASU and its research enterprise. Comprised of industry and university veterans, AzTE brings together ASU’s researchers and industry partners to transform discoveries into marketable products and services, taking innovation out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace. AzTE currently offers for licensing more than 300 novel technologies in the life and physical sciences. For more information: http://www.azte.com/.
About EndoStim, Inc.
EndoStim, Inc. is a St. Louis-based medical device company developing novel microstimulator technologies for the treatment of a number of widely prevalent sphincter-related and other disorders.