VenoStent Announces $2.3M in Seed Funding to Transform Vascular Access Surgery for Hemodialysis Patients

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Creative Ventures leads the funding round, with participation from IAG Capital Partners

"While we are laser-focused on our first indication, hemodialysis access, what’s additionally so exciting is that this approach avails to us a whole host of potential applications in ‘perivascular wrapping,’" said Geoff Lucks, VenoStent’s Co-Founder and COO.

VenoStent, a Houston-based advanced materials company, today announced $2.3M in seed funding. The company leverages its unique polymer engineering technology to develop bioresorbable slip-on polymer wraps, called SelfWrap. The product is aimed to eliminate vascular surgery failures, at first targeting vascular access surgery required to initiate hemodialysis treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.

Creative Ventures led the round with participation from IAG Capital Partners, C3 Ventures, Olima Ventures, Texas Halo Fund, Cowtown Angels, and SP Investment Fund, among other prominent investors, following their participation in Y Combinator’s Summer 2020 Batch. The close brings the funding to date to more than $6 million. This includes prestigious non-dilutive grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the 2020 Redesign Dialysis Phase II KidneyX Prize from the Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology, as well as previous investment rounds with Texas Halo Fund, Activated Capital, Health Wildcatters, Cougar Ventures, and Cowtown Angels.

The new investment will be used to complete their first-in-human clinical work, and conduct relevant studies to ready themselves for Breakthrough Device Designation (BDD) and Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) submissions. The funding will enable the company to reach major inflection points from both clinical and regulatory aspects.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be in a position to conduct our first clinical trials with this funding. ESRD patients are truly heroic in their perseverance, but there is a dire need for more innovative technologies to really improve their very hampered quality and length of life. Our bioengineered solution has the potential to transform the lives of these patients,” said Tim Boire, Ph.D., VenoStent’s Co-Founder and CEO. “And while we are laser-focused on our first indication, hemodialysis access, what’s additionally so exciting is that this approach avails to us a whole host of potential applications in ‘perivascular wrapping.’ Essentially anytime an artery-vein connection is made, such as quadruple bypass surgeries, our porous, bioresorbable scaffold could potentially be used to improve surgical outcomes,” added Geoff Lucks, VenoStent’s Co-Founder and COO.

ESRD is the final stage of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), estimated to be prominent in 15% of the US population or about 37 million people. Aging individuals and those with preexisting conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure are more prone to develop kidney diseases. While a kidney transplant is the ultimate treatment for ESRD patients, shortage of organ donations, complications leading to organ rejection and the nascent stage of 3D organ alternatives leave 70% of ESRD patients relying on dialysis. However, dialysis itself is not without difficulties: vascular access surgery required to initiate hemodialysis have a 55-65% failure rate.

“VenoStent addresses a market-driven demand for advanced tech solutions. Their initial market, hemodialysis, is the most widespread treatment for those who essentially are left with no other options. It’s a unique space, both from its recurring nature and how it’s a must-have for patients’ survival” commented Kulika Weizman, Principal at Creative Ventures, who led the investment. “The disproportionally high costs incurred on the healthcare system to treat kidney disease patients calls for transformative solutions. VenoStent’s product is driven by its unique ability to engineer polymer materials, which means they have growth potential far beyond their initial hemodialysis market”, added Alex Luce, General Partner at Creative Ventures.

The company has already taken steps toward preclinical studies. The seed financing announced today will help propel team growth, scale quality control and manufacturing process, and strengthen clinical and reimbursement positions.

About VenoStent, Inc.

VenoStent is an advanced materials company with patented core technology in polymer engineering. Its first product, SelfWrap, is a slip-on, bioresorbable wrap aimed to eliminate vascular access surgery failure rate of 55-65% in hemodialysis patients. The extra costs to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created by these failures amounts to over $2 billion per year.

VenoStent has a unique ability to modify Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs) to be thermo-responsive near the human body’s temperature, enabling SelfWrap to become moldable ‘on-site’ with tunable degradation rate. This allows for a snug but flexible support structure that helps alleviate vascular access failure. Altogether, VenoStent’s solution aims to improve ESRD patients’ quality and length of life and reduce the burden of chronic diseases on the healthcare system.

For more information, please visit the company website at https://www.venostent.com/

About Creative Ventures

Creative Ventures is the new standard for method-driven venture capital.

We identify and invest in critical global-scale challenges and fund the companies with deployable solutions that address these problems.

We’re not in the business of predicting the future. We don’t take on R&D risks with unknown horizons. We invest in scalable technologies primed to meet existing market demand.

We believe our market-first approach and strict investment protocols are the surest way to secure exponential growth opportunities while mitigating risks other deep-tech VCs are all too ready to accept.

We are the most rigorous manager in VC because the sectors we invest in require it.
Our managing partners and GPs include financial analysts, operators, industrialists, and PhD technologists with deep subject-matter expertise.

To learn more about Creative Ventures, please visit http://www.creativeventures.vc or reach out to us at invest@creativeventures.vc.

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