Medical start-up RxFunction Inc., a wearable technology company that created walkasins® - the first Wearable Sensory Prosthesis (WSP™) - has completed its Series A funding round, raising $7.5 million and surpassing the initial funding goal of $5 million. Cedar Point Capital, LLC., a boutique investment banking firm located in Edina, MN, acted as the exclusive placement agent for the offering. The funding will help the company prepare for market launch through Federal Drug Administration (FDA) registration, build an organization ready to commercialize the technology, and fund the next clinical trial in the U.S.
RxFunction was founded in 2010 by Dr. Lars Oddsson and Dan Leach. Dr. Oddsson co-invented and developed the patented technology while a research professor at Boston University's Neuromuscular Research Center. "At the time we were able to demonstrate the concept in a lab environment," Oddsson says. "Today's miniaturization of electronics, sensors, improved batteries and faster processors has allowed us to design and build a medical grade wearable device that can help patients on a daily basis."
Walkasins® was created to help improve balance in patients who experience gait and balance problems due to peripheral neuropathy, a disorder where the nerves in the feet are damaged causing numbness. This can lead to loss of balance function and increase the risk of falls. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of peripheral neuropathy, commonly a consequence of diabetes and chemotherapy, and widely present in the elderly population.
"Investor response exceeded our expectations, which we believe demonstrates confidence and high interest in the walkasins® technology and commercial market potential," said Tom Morizio, RxFunction CEO. "This funding will support us as we enter the U.S. market and move the company into its next phase."
Initial funding for the design and development of walkasins® technology was supported by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health. Walkasins® consists of a thin sensor-instrumented Foot Pad placed in the shoe that measures changes in foot pressure reflecting the patient's state of balance. The Foot Pad connects to a Leg Unit that contains a micro-processor and a proprietary algorithm that activates vibrator motors placed around the leg to provide new tactile balance cues to the patient. Leaning too far in any one direction triggers a vibration on that side of the leg signaling to the brain to correct balance. Patients can then better sense where their feet are on the ground helping them to improve balance and mobility.
A recent clinical trial of walkasins® at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Minneapolis, demonstrated short-term immediate effects of walkasins® use on functional balance and walking speed. These findings help identify patients who most benefit from using walkasins®, which is important when walkasins® becomes available for prescription.
About RxFunction, Inc.
RxFunction is a wearable technology company with an initial focus on developing and leading a new business segment within the U.S. medical grade assistive technology marketplace. The company's vision is to improve physical ability and quality of life for patients with sensory peripheral neuropathy at high risk of falling. Privately held and headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN, RxFunction created walkasins® building upon patented technology developed by co-founder Dr. Lars Oddsson as a research professor at Boston University's Neuromuscular Research Center. Walkasins® has not been submitted to the FDA for review and is not available for sale at this time. Walkasins® is manufactured in Minnesota.
RxFunction website: www.rxfunction.com
Source: RxFunction Inc
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