Calibra Medical has raised some new venture cash to see how far it can go in the marketplace with an inexpensive insulin pump for people with diabetes.
The Redwood City, CA-based company collected $8.1 million in venture financing out of a round that could be worth as much as $30 million, according to a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. News of the financing was reported earlier today by the San Francisco Business Times.
Calibra, which I featured in these pages in January, is on a push to commercialize a new kind of insulin delivery device. The concept here is to stake out a middle ground between the cheapest and easiest options for delivering insulin (syringes, pre-filled pens) and the more discreet, but more complex and expensive alternatives (insulin pumps). Calibra’s device, about the size of an iPod Nano, is designed to hold about three days of insulin, which it delivers through a cannula (a little tube that sticks in the body). A patient can get insulin into his or her body by squeezing a couple of buttons. By doing away with batteries and electronic hardware of pumps, and using only mechanical parts, Calibra has said it believes it can make its system convenient and discreet like a pump, but cheap enough to compete on price with pre-filled syringes.
If Calibra can convince doctors and patients to go along with this device, it could be in position to tap a big market. An estimated 6 million people in the U.S. with diabetes rely on regular injections via syringes to get the insulin they need, and incidence of the disease is booming in tandem with the obesity epidemic.
Before today’s financing, Calibra had pulled in a total of $44 million in venture capital from Three Arch Partners, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, InterSouth Partners, and Canaan Partners.
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