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Boston Scientific Backs Overactive Bladder Device Maker Amphora in $36M Round

The funds will be used to facilitate a pivotal study of its device’s effectiveness in treating women who suffer from the condition.

Amphora Medical Inc., a maker of medical devices to treat overactive bladder (OAB), closed its Series B funding round on Thursday, raising $35.5 million.
 
The Maple Grove-based startup said the new capital is dedicated to a U.S. pivotal study for its Selective Bladder Denervation System, which is targeted at women with OAB.
 
Amphora does not currently have any products on the market. A study of one of its devices, however, would push it closer toward receiving federal approval and, ultimately, the option to market it to doctors and hospitals.
 
About 33 million Americans today deal with OAB, or the sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, according to the Urology Care Foundation. The condition is said to be more prevalent among women in the U.S. with nearly 40 percent reportedly living with OAB symptoms compared to about 30 percent of men.
 
“Today, many OAB patients have few options for managing their symptoms, which can be debilitating,” said Marc Galletti, managing director of Longitude Capital, in a statement. The private investment firm was one Amphora’s lead investors in its Series B. Boston Scientific, one of Minnesota’s largest employers, along with HBM Healthcare Investments, F-Prime Capital Partners and Baird Capital also took part in the financing round.
 
“Amphora’s Selective Bladder Denervation system has demonstrated the potential to restore normal bladder function and provide lasting symptom improvement in ongoing feasibility studies,” Galletti continued. “We believe this proprietary technology has the potential to be a fundamental advancement in the treatment of OAB.”
 
Since its 2011 founding, Amphora has raised at least $48 million from investors. The company’s prior funding round wrapped two years ago with just under $13 million secured.
 
“This closing of this [$35.5 million] round is an important milestone for Amphora,” Tom Ressemann, president and CEO of Amphora, said in prepared remarks. “Upon the completion of two ongoing feasibility studies, we expect to initiate the pivotal, randomized, sham-controlled selective bladder denervation clinical trial in women who are refractory to medical therapy in 2018.”
 
Concurrent with the funding round, Galletti will join Amphora’s board of directors, as will Thomas Thaler of HBM Healthcare Investments. Separately, Ressemann announced the appointment of Chris Owens, president and CEO of urology device maker Gynesonics, to the local company’s board of directors.