Raydiant Oximetry, a Fogarty Institute company that is developing an innovative fetal monitor to improve outcomes for mothers and babies during childbirth, has closed a $5.6 million Series A funding round led by VCapital. It follows on the heels of a recent string of funding rounds, grants and an exit by fellow Fogarty companies Enspectra, CyberHeart, Materna and G-Tech.
“VCapital screens around 1,500 deals per year and only invests in four to five select companies. Raydiant Oximetry stood out based on its attention to detail, communication and interest in taking on a true partner, beyond just the financial elements,”said Ryan Kole, partner, VCapital. “We have great confidence in the team and are extremely delighted to be part of their journey as they improve maternal and infant health.”
Technology upgrades, status as an FDA “Breakthrough Device” and relatability spur investments
Over the past year, Radiant Oximetry has worked diligently to make improvements to its low-cost, non-invasive sensor that monitors fetal oxygenation during labor, with the aim to better identify fetal distress and reduce the rate of medically unnecessary C-sections. These advances on both the hardware and software side led to increased accuracy and reliability in acquiring a stronger fetal signal.
Although the nature of this device requires the company to follow one of the most stringent regulatory pathways, it was among the first companies to achieve FDA Breakthrough Device status in late 2018, which will speed up its time to market.
Radiant Oximetry is currently concluding a 25-patient feasibility study at Tufts University Medical Center. This early feasibility study has already provided compelling first-in-human data and proven the value of its clinical use. “We are getting positive feedback from physicians who call our technology ‘a game changer,’ and confirm it is filling a critical clinical void,” said Neil P. Ray, MD, founder and CEO of Raydiant Oximetry. “Our team’s broad experience has helped us develop a device that is easy to use, fits into the clinical workflow and creates a value proposition that addresses all stakeholders, including the patient, hospitals, physicians, malpractice carriers and payers.
“What has also been appealing to investors, is that many of them can relate to the problem we are addressing – most have a spouse, family member or have themselves endured a challenging childbirth experience,” added Neil. “For many people, there is just one degree of separation from this unmet clinical need, which has been a big driver for our investors.”
Adding new board members
The startup has added two seasoned board members, Debra Reisenthel, founding CEO of Palo Alto Health Sciences, who brings deep experience in pulse oximetry; and Terri Burke, venture partner at Epidarex Capital, whose rich experience in both venture capital and blue-chip medical device firms will greatly benefit Raydiant Oximetry.
“Increasingly, large medical companies are turning attention to the growth area of women’s health and the need for breakthrough innovation that disrupts antiquated care,” said Terri. “Raydiant Oximetry is poised to develop a new standard of care in labor and delivery to positively impact maternal and fetal health and to create value for investors. I am excited to join this forward-thinking team that is focused on delivering a world-class solution.”
Following its graduation from the Fogarty Institute, the company has moved its offices to San Ramon, California. The Series A funding will go towards conducting a 60-patient study during labor and delivery, with the aim of using data to raise a Series B round to finance a larger, 600-person pivotal study. The company anticipates receiving FDA approval in 2023.