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Mayo-Connected Magnetic Imaging Medtech Firm Completes $13M Financing

MRI Interventions has development deal with clinic for new stroke therapies.

A small California medtech with close research commercialization ties to Mayo Clinic says it is “firing on all cylinders” on plans to roll out its image-guided surgery tech platform after completing a $13.25 million private placement.
 
MRI Interventions (OTCQB: MRIC) of Irvine announced the fresh equity financing shortly after signing a joint development agreement with Mayo to innovate and commercialize new ways the using magnetic resonance imaging system in combatting an especially deadly type of stroke that currently has no definitive treatment.
 
MRI Interventions is the maker of the ClearPoint Neuro Navigation System, one of the first technologies allowing doctors to view real-time anatomical MRI images while carrying out procedures in the operating room.
 
After establishing uses for various kinds of neurological procedures, the company earlier this year announced a collaboration with renowned Mayo brain surgeon Dr. Bernard Bendok in seeking ways to adapt the system for minimally invasive treatment of spontaneous intra-cerebral hemorrhage (ICH), the most serious subtype of stroke.
 
Company president and CEO Frank Grillo said the equity infusion is part of an effort to gain listing on a national stock exchange, most likely the tech-oriented NASDAQ.
 
“We are very excited to complete this financing, and by the very strong interest from both new and existing investors” he said in an issued statement.  “With this financing as the capstone, the company is now firing on all cylinders.”
 
Noting the collaboration with Mayo and other company developments, Grillo added, “With these funds in place, we will now seek to up-list to a national exchange.”
 
The investors in the financing weren’t revealed. Under its terms, some 6.625 million units were issued, composed of approximately 6.625 million shares common stock and warrants to purchase another 6.625 million common shares. Investors have agreed to pay a negotiated price of $2 per unit, and the exercise price of the warrants is to be $2.20 per share. The warrants are exercisable for a five-year period.
 
Shares of MRI Interventions were trading at around $3.40 per share on the over-the-counter exchange in late May at the time of this writing. They had been trading as high as $6 per share before the May 25 announcement of the private placement.
 
MRI reported revenues of $2 million in the first quarter of 2017. It said the ClearPoint system had been used “a record” 146 times in the quarter, “our eighth quarter in a row of growth in procedure volume.” It is currently being used by Mayo doctors at the Jacksonville, Florida clinic for a variety of neurosurgical procedures including electrode implantation for deep brain stimulation, laser ablation and biopsies of small, deep-seated lesions.
 
Dr. Bendok told TCB that he and MRI Interventions will be co-developing a new type of catheter to be used in conjunction with ClearPoint which can be employed to find and “evacuate” clotted blood from the brain through just a small opening in the skull.
 
Further, he added, the work will help move forward the broader goal of bringing real-time, image-guided surgery into the operating room.
 
The financial and intellectual property terms of the joint development agreement were not revealed. However, past “JDAs” involving Mayo have seen the clinic claiming patent protection over innovations and then licensing the technology to corporate partners, with any resulting revenues being sunk back into the clinical practice by the nonprofit Mayo Foundation.