Mirador Biomedical, Playing ‘Small Ball’ in Medical Devices, Pockets $1.5M Financing

4/13/11Follow @xconomy

Seattle-based Mirador Biomedical was able to win FDA approval of its first medical device on a shoestring budget of a shade over $1 million, and now investors are rewarding it with some more cash to see what it can do in the marketplace.

Mirador has pulled in another $1.5 million in its Series B financing round, which included WRF Capital, Summit Capital, as well as other new and existing investors.

The company, which I profiled back in July, won FDA clearance in October for a couple different product iterations of its digital pressure sensor. One is used to help medical professionals tell whether they are about to insert a catheter into an artery instead of a vein (a very bad idea that can actually kill a patient). The other product is used to gauge pressure of lower-back punctures like the ones used for spinal taps.

While many traditional venture-backed medical device companies have struggled to cope with increasingly cautious regulators at the FDA and tight-fisted insurers, some investors are looking for alternative models that don’t require as much capital to create returns. Versant Ventures’ Beckie Robertson called this model “small ball” at a recent WBBA conference in Bothell, WA, and while she didn’t mention Mirador specifically, it’s clearly following the model she described that still can work. The model can work, Robertson said, for companies that can take less time, consume less capital in development, and still offer investors a shot at real revenues and commercial returns—albeit probably not $500 million or $1 billion returns.

Simple math says with this small amount of money, Mirador won’t have to get anywhere near those sales figures to successfully reward its founders and investors.

“We chose to lead Mirador’s Series B round based on their impressive progress and highly efficient use of capital. With less than a million dollars, they obtained FDA clearance and early sales,” said Loretta Little, a managing director at WRF Capital, in a company statement. “Both the Series A and Series B rounds were oversubscribed, which isn’t too surprising given their great market feedback and clinicians’ enthusiasm for the Compass and its many potential applications.”

Mirador’s founders include CEO Karl Schmidt and chief science officer Justin Hulvershorn, who worked together at Northstar Neurscience, as well as chief operating officer Doug Swartz. The company also has a couple of big names from the Seattle medical device community on its board—Tom Clement, the founder of Pathway Medical Technologies, and John Harris, the CEO of NeuroVista.

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