Profusa has raised more than $45 million to fund its development of tissue-integrated biosensors for continuous body monitoring, as well as commercialize its first clinical product for real-time tracking of dissolved oxygen in tissues.
The series C round saw new investors, including VMS Investment Group, Tasly Pharmaceutical Group and Maxim Integrated Ventures, as well as participation from the company’s previous backers 3E Bioventures Capital and Atinum Investment.
Profusa’s first commercial offering, the Lumee Oxygen Platform, is designed to report acute and long-term tissue oxygen levels in various body regions and applications, such as in peripheral artery disease (PAD); chronic wounds, like diabetic ulcers and pressure sores; sleep apnea; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and in reconstructive surgery. It first received a CE mark in PAD in 2016.
The biosensor is a 5-mm-long, flexible fiber implant made of hydrogel—described as similar to a contact lens—forming a porous scaffold that causes capillaries to grow into it from the surrounding tissue. Fluorescent light from an optical reader on the skin then measures the concentration of molecules.
“With this financing, we continue to build the financial strength necessary to advance our innovative biosensor platform,” Profusa Chairman and CEO Ben Hwang, Ph.D., said in a statement. The South San Francisco-based company is also developing a glucose biosensor.
“We appreciate the support and confidence of our new and existing investors,” Hwang said. “Together, we are working to realize our vision of revolutionizing the management and utilization of personalized healthcare data.”
In 2016, Profusa was awarded a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Army and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop implantable biosensors for multiple body chemistries, with the goal of being able to continuously monitor combat soldiers’ health status.
“Profusa’s vision is to replace a point-in-time chemistry panel that measures multiple biomarkers, such as oxygen, glucose, lactate, urea, and ions with a biosensor that provides a continuous stream of wireless data,” Hwang said at the time.
“Profusa has made significant advances since its inception and is now on the cusp of revolutionizing the type of real-time data that can be gathered and shared between physicians and patients to drive truly personalized care,” said Karen Liu, Ph.D., a partner of 3E Bioventures and board director. “The company understands the enormous value that real-time, clinical-grade data derived from simple-to-use devices can have on an individual’s healthcare and is taking a leadership role in transforming blood chemistry analysis into a continuous streamlined, digital experience.”