• Greek technology venture capital firm Big Pi Ventures participated in OrthoSon’s €10.4M (£8.9M) recent Series A, next to international investors such as Yonghua Capital.
• OrthoSon, a startup based in Oxford, UK, is developing solutions for low back pain and will be using the new capital to advance the treatment’s progress to clinic.
• On the occasion, Aristos Doxiadis, Partner at Big Pi Ventures, will join the Board as Director.
OrthoSon has been developing a proprietary technology for low back pain that can help replace degenerated spinal discs with minimal invasion, using ultrasounds and local curing hydrogel implants.
With the completion of the Series A round, OrthoSon announced their intention to start preparing the product for Phase I trials in the US, to take place from 2023. This will include preclinical safety studies and regulatory preparations. European and international clinical trials to support global launch will follow after US trials.
Lower back and neck pain are the number one cause of disability globally. The costs stemming from treatment solutions, sickness leave, and productivity loss reach $90B in the US and £12 billion in the UK, on an annual basis.
In this context, OrthoSon spun out of the University of Oxford back in 2016. The team based at The Oxford Science Park includes CTO, co-founder, and director, Prof. Constantin Coussios, originally from Greece.
OrthoSon is developing a back pain treatment for patients who are considering surgery, a market worth over $1B. The company expects its novel approach to spinal disc restoration to become a cost-effective and safe alternative to traditional surgical approaches (such as spinal fusion and disc replacement), reducing both the risk of complications and the use of opioid pain medication.
The technology is patented and uses a combination of high-intensity, high-precision ultrasound, gas-stabilizing solid particles, and injectable hydrogel. These are delivered through a small needle directly into the degenerated disc, causing a breakdown of the nucleus of the degenerated disc.
“This oversubscribed Series A round will take our novel motion-restoring spinal treatment through preclinical trials ahead of clinical trials in the US and internationally,” says Rich Simmonds, CEO of OrthoSon in the press release.
The investor perspective
As a deep tech spinoff, OrthoSon was a suitable target for Big Pi, a venture capital fund with a focus on seed-stage and technology transfer opportunities where technology and IP are at the core of the value proposition.
‘We like to invest in companies with strong technologies, teams, and market positions, and OrthoSon has all of these. Big Pi Ventures believes its product will have a significant impact on the back pain market, improving quality of life for sufferers and reducing healthcare costs and Disability,’ shares Aristos Doxiadis, Partner at Big Pi Ventures, in the press release.
Yonghua Capital, experienced investors in novel medical technology, further stated being excited about the potential of OrthoSon’s solution and progress expected in ultrasound therapy for what constitutes a global problem: back pain, says their Venture Partner, Wang Chong, in the press release.
Other investors include Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund.