WISE s.r.l. raises € 1 M in equity financing to Develop Next-Generation Neurostimulation Devices

November 7, 2013

WISE (Wiringless Implantable Stretchable Electronics), a Milan- and Berlin-based medical device company is developing next-generation implantable neurostimulation devices based on their unique and proprietary technology platform. The company has now raised a seed-round of € 1 M to advance the development of its first product aimed at the spinal cord stimulation market. High-Tech Gründerfonds, Atlante Seeds and b-to-v Partners co-led the round and were joined by the existing investor Agite!.

“We feel honored by the trust placed in WISE by the investors who recognize how our technology can change the neurostimulation market. We are certain, that our product features genuinely disruptive properties and will overcome the limitations of products currently available”, comments WISE’s CEO and co-founder Dr. Luca Ravagnan. “Completing this financing round gives us the resources at hand to finalize our prototype and fully engage into pre-clinical development”.

“We have strongly believed in this project and in the scientific team since the company foundation”, adds Agite!’s President Dr. Mario Zanone Poma. “We consider the participation in this investment round by three of the major Seed Funds in Europe as a fundamental step forward in the development of WISE towards commercial success”.

The leads and extensions presently used in neurostimulation come with two major limitations: breakage and dislocation, both caused by the stiffness of the material currently being used and requiring surgical replacement of the electrodes. WISE’s competitive advantage is built on a proprietary technology, developed at the University of Milan, that allows for the insertion of electronic microcircuits in biocompatible silicones. Based on this technology, WISE is able to generate highly elastic electrodes of supreme reliability that resist stretching and twisting without the risk of dislocation or electrical failure.

“We are certain, that there will be a demand for WISE’s versatile products and we can’t wait to see the company tap into the rapidly expanding neurostimulation market; a billion-dollar market that has been eagerly waiting to see true innovation over the last years” comments Dr. Christian Jung of HTGF. “Not only will the production costs be orders of magnitude lower than current standard, but also, by the reduced invasiveness of the devices, WISE will sustain the momentum to the ongoing efforts of widening the range of pathologies in which neurostimulation can come to use”.

Other than solving the problems of breakage and dislocation and being much cheaper to produce than current standard, WISE’s electrodes are also significantly smaller and softer, reducing the risks of tissue inflammation often seen in patients. “We have been following WISE since their victory at the Start Up Initiative/Nanochallenge 2011. We strongly believe in the potential of its technology and products which could become a game-changer”, says Atlante Seed’s Dr. Alvise Bonivento. “Moreover, we are also delighted to be part of such an International panel of investors which will be able to provide an important support to the development of WISE.”

“Current technology has become unfit to the needs of contemporary and future neurostimulation systems that require miniaturized, flexible and reliable leads “ adds b-to-v Partner’s Benedikt Kronberger. “Patient-tailored lead patterns now seem within reach, due to WISE’s ability to deliver on highly complex lead patterns”.

While the company is clearly committed to develop medical devices for the neurostimulation market, its technology platform can also be used for various other fields and applications, e.g. consumer electronics.

For more information, please contact info@wisebiotech.com or go see the company’s website at www.wisebiotech.com.

About WISE
WISE is a medtec company founded in 2011 by four scientific partners and the angel investor Agite; later joined by Veneto Nanotech. The scientific team has a strong background in the fields of nano- and biotechnology. WISE has the mission of producing and bringing to market implantable medical devices manufactured by an innovative and proprietary technology. This technique allows for the metallization of stretchable polymers resulting in micro-circuits that are highly biocompatible and can sustain extensive cycles of stretching without breaking. WISE will use the technology to produce a fundamentally new family of leads for neurostimulation (implanted in the spinal cord or brain of patients for treating neurodegenerative disease like chronic pain and Parkinson) that will be more reliable, less invasive and cheaper compared to existing products.

WISE S.r.l.
Dr. Luca Ravagnan
Piazza Duse, 2
20122 Milano
Tel:  +39 02 5666 0193

About Atlante Seed
Atlante Seed is an Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s Fund dedicated to seed and early stage capital, it invests in innovative companies still small but with high growth potential, with a particular attention to those belonging to the high technology industry. Besides this activity (direct investments), the Fund invests in selected business incubators or accelerators specialized in specific sectors (indirect investments).

Atlante Seed
Dr. Alvise  Bonivento

About b-to-v Partners
Located in St. Gallen, b-to-v Partners AG with its 200 members is one of the leading networks of entrepreneurial private investors in Europe. In addition, the company is active as an independent investor in start-ups, medium-sized companies, and special opportunities. b-to-v combines the industry expertise and experience of entrepreneurial private investors and of investment professionals in its own team with opportunities to invest in companies led by outstanding entrepreneurs. With this investment approach, b-to-v has set the goal of creating long-term added value both for the companies financed worldwide as well as for the investors while achieving attractive returns. The joint investment activity and the pleasure of mutual financial, technical, and personal support from entrepreneur to entrepreneur is the core of the b-to-v philosophy. Further information is available at www.b-to-v.com.

b-to-v Partners Press Contact:
Saskia Schauer
HOSCHKE & CONSORTEN Public Relations GmbH
Tel: +49 40 36 90 50-57

About Agite!
Agite! S.p.A. is an Italian company, based in Milano, founded by a group of managers, entrepreneurs and professional lawyers and accountants. Agite! has the goal of supporting teams of researchers with innovative technologies and business ideas in the process of the foundation of their start-up companies by not only providing the first Angel investment, but even more importantly the hand-by-hand active guidance into the transition from scientists to entrepreneurs.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing rounds. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 573.5 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 301.5 million HTGF II).

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Christian Jung
Schlegelstraße 2
53113 Bonn
Tel.: +49 (228) 823 001-45
Fax: +49 (228) 823 000-50

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