NinePoint Medical Looks Deep For Barrett’s Esophagus
NinePoint Medical Inc. is looking to shed some insights on the mysteries of the esophagus. The venture-backed start-up launched NvisionVLE, an imaging system that can produce real-time images of the esophagus, enabling gastroenterologists to see where they need to cut when performing biopsies of tests of worrisome esophageal tissue including Barrett’s esophagus.
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Device financing dropped more than 40% to $714 million in Q1; Smith & Nephew’s $1.7 billion acquisition of ArthroCare overshadowed acquisitions. Diagnostics companies raised $568 million, a 34% increase over 2013’s final quarter; nonprofits provided assets to diagnostics firms in multiple licensing arrangements.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore said in vivo studies using Confocal Raman spectroscopy demonstrate that diagnosis of cancer in sensitive tissues can be carried out in real time. The technology, still in development phase, could diminish the need for biopsies and allow doctors to make decisions about removal on the spot.
A long-time darling of venture capital, the gastrointestinal sector has yet to meet expectation of VCs who wagered on technologies to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus and even obesity. But some notable acquisitions, including Covidien’s purchase of privately held Barrx, may present a ray of hope for investors in GI companies.