BeneChill Raises $13.5 Million to Commercialize Medical Cooling Device

7/22/09Follow @bvbigelow

Perhaps it’s a sign of the “coolness” of medical device technology in San Diego. Fresh on the heels of Philips Electronics’ purchase of San Diego-based InnerCool Therapies, which uses cooling therapies to treat patients, BeneChill says it has raised $13.5 million in a Series C round of venture funding. In its statement, BeneChill says a new investor, HealthCap of Stockholm, Sweden, led the financing and existing investors MedVenture Associates and NGN Capital also participated, along with the Solon Foundation.

BeneChill says proceeds will be used to fund early commercialization of the company’s RhinoChill, a portable medical device that uses a catheter to deliver a proprietary coolant to nasal passages. Induced hypothermia is currently used in hospitals to treat patients with cardiac arrest, stroke, or head injury. Because the RhinoChill device is portable and requires no external power source, the San Diego company says it is targeting emergency field settings for the product. European health regulators approved RhinoChill in 2007 for use in European Union countries.

BeneChill says it recently completed a randomized study of RhinoChill in cardiac arrest patients, which is intended to show whether the addition of intra-nasal cooling during field resuscitation improves the outcome for people suffering a heart attack in comparison to hospital-based cooling. BeneChill says results of the study will be announced at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Orlando, FL, in November. If the results are positive, the company presumably will seek FDA approval.

Founded in 2004, BeneChill is developing its non-invasive patient cooling applications for field and ambulance care, emergency rooms, and general hospital operations.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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