This week we highlight a new enhanced COVID-19 vaccine trial and the spin out of another major health care business. We also look at a Food and Drug Administration clearance for the smallest blood clot removal device and a company that raised $192 million based on a heart-attack-predicting software platform. Lastly, we look at a company that raised $55 million to commercialize a promising cataract surgical robot.
Pfizer has launched a Phase 2 study for an enhanced COVID-19 vaccine. The new vaccine contains ribonucleic acid (RNA) that encodes proteins for both the original strand of COVID-19 as well as the omicron variant. This trial is the first of many planned by Pfizer in the search for a stronger, longer lasting COVID-19 vaccine.
This week, 3M announced that it would spin out its health care business as a standalone entity. The health care business generated revenue in excess of $8 billion during 2021. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2023. News of this transaction comes on the heels of General Electric announcing a spin out of its $18 billion health care division.
Rapid Medical received FDA clearance for its TigerTriever 13 device. It is the smallest and only adjustable stent retriever on the market, allowing it to remove clots from blood vessels as small as 1 millimeter in width. The smaller size and ability to adjust allows the device to treat a greater number of patients who have suffered a stroke.
Cleerly’s machine-learning platform raised $192 million in its Series C financing round. The software, trained by millions of previously assessed computed tomography (CT) images, analyzes a patient scan to measure and characterize the amount of plaque built up and the potential risk of a heart attack. If successful, the platform could proactively help patients identify and treat cardiovascular disease prior to an adverse event.
ForSight Robotics raised $55 million in its Series A financing round for its surgical robot platform known as ORYOM. Ophthalmic eye surgery is one of the most common procedures and if performed early enough can prevent blindness. ForSight has stated its goal is to democratize the highly sophisticated procedure and make it easier for patients around the world to have access to treatment. These developments align with an article from October 2021 that was published in Med Device Online, where we shared our perspective that robotically assisted surgical devices were ripe for innovation. We stated that there was significant opportunity for device makers to develop robotic devices, much like ORYOM, that would improve procedure success rate and recovery time.