03/14/2023 Morgantown, W.Va. – Morgantown surgical device company Endolumik, Inc., closed a $1.5 million investment to commercialize its patented near-infrared (NIR) surgical device – Gastric Calibration Tube, thanks in part to a new investment from the Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN) of Beckley.
Endolumik uses near-infrared light to allow surgeons to better visualize minimally-invasive surgical tools and measure anatomical features during procedures.
The funds will support the commercial launch of the company’s first device using the technology. The investment close comes on the heels of the recent Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance of the device. In fact, the FDA announced that the Endolumik Gastric Calibration Tube is the first device ever to be authorized under its Safer Technology Program.
“The funding and Safer Technology authorization have set us up for success,” said Mara McFadden, co-founder and CEO of the company. “We are eager to get this novel tool into the hands of surgeons.”
McFadden said the investment will allow Endolumik to hire three people and build its inventory.
The equity round was led by the Country Roads Angel Network, West Virginia’s only accredited angel network fund that invests in companies that are driving innovation in the Mountain State.
“Our investors think so much of Endolumik and its leadership that we made a second investment in this innovative medical device company,” said CRAN Chairman Kevin Combs. “We are confident that Endolumik, with its innovative visualization techniques, will disrupt the laparoscopic surgical device landscape and create a new standard of excellence.”
Combs said CRAN invested $240,000 in Endolumik in late 2021 in the round one investment opportunity and another $145,000 now in round two, for a total CRAN investment of $360,000.
CRAN’s investment in Endolumik comes with a seat on the Endolumik board.
As a CRAN investor in Endolumik, Chris Vaught, a Beckley serial entrepreneur and successful businessman, will also be joining the Endolumik board. Vaught will bring his considerable health care experience as an entrepreneur and hospital CEO to the Endolumik leadership team.
“The potential for Endolumik – with this medical device and others in progress – is unlimited,” said Vaught in a press release. “Working with CEO Mara McFadden and inventor Dr. Nova Szoka since the initial funding round has been rewarding, and the future of this company is very bright.”
In a first, CRAN was joined in the round by West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT), which was able to match privately raised funds with SSBCI investment dollars.
“WVJIT is proud to be a partner investor in a deal led by Country Roads Angel Network that includes a host of other private investors,” said Andy Zulauf, executive director at West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust. “The West Virginia Capital Access Program afforded us the funds necessary to match investments from private funders to leverage a larger round of funding support for Endolumik. We hope this deal serves as a model for the state to work together to fund our best and brightest.”
Also invested are Calypso Investment Partners, Cutwater Capital, Varia Ventures and private offices.
Endolumik’s first product is a NIR-guided Gastric Calibration Tube. These calibration tubes are commonly used in gastric and bariatric surgeries today. However, the majority of these tubes are difficult to see inside the stomach, which can lead to costly medical errors. The Endolumik Gastric Calibration Tube with patented fluorescence-guidance is designed to improve visualization for the surgical team and enable safer, more standardized surgeries.
Nova Szoka, M.D., the inventor of the technology and co-founder of Endolumik, said in the release, “Our mission is to provide surgeons with additional visual cues to succeed in the operating room. We believe our technology will allow surgeons to deliver more consistent results and this will translate to improved patient outcomes.”