Fayetteville-based startup Lineus Medical completed another round of Series A funding for $1.365 million to help bring the company’s SafeBreak Vascular medical device to market by 2018, Lineus CEO Spencer Jones said.
Since the company’s 2015 founding, Jones has been able to raise $2.215 million to get the product to market. The device fits into any IV line and prevents dislodgment of IV catheters in patients.
Two venture capital groups, Innova and MB Venture Partners, of Memphis, led the initial seed funding and also led the new round. Jones recently told Talk Business & Politics he was close to raising $1.2 million in funding.
“This new round of financing was oversubscribed, indicating strong investor support of Lineus. We are very pleased with the continuous improvement of the device and the development of the company over the past year. We believe SafeBreak Vascular is going to have an incredible impact within hospitals by greatly improving patient care,” said Gary Stevenson, Managing Partner of MB Ventures and Chairman of the Board for Lineus Medical.
Jones said Lineus is in the final stretch and will submit to the Federal Drug Administration for product approval in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Completing this round of funding gives us the capital to successfully launch SafeBreak Vascular, get cash flow positive, and accelerate the development of innovative technologies in our product pipeline,” Jones added.
Lineus has also been in search of the right manufacturing partner to help assemble and package the SafeBreak Vascular devices which Jones plans to bring to market next year. Jones said Lineus signed an exclusive three-year agreement with New Jersey-based BihlerMED that will assemble and package his SafeBreak Vascular device which will be sold in the healthcare industry.
Jones invented the SafeBreak Vascular device while working as an overnight nurse at CHI St. Vincent Hospital in Little Rock in 2015. Jones purchased an existing patent for the SafeBreak IV, refined the device and has been working since 2015 to get into the healthcare field. Jones told Talk Business & Politics the healthcare industry is ripe for disruption and there are incredible opportunities in healthcare devices.
This deal with BihlerMED is a big step forward for Lineus Medical and Jones. BihlerMED’s specialty is the design, engineering, development and testing of medical devices. Jones said BihlerMED’s large scale automated production and assembly capabilities will make SafeBreak readily available for him to market in 2018 once the device is approved by the Food & Drug Administration.
“BihlerMED has proven with multiple, far more complicated, products that they know how to scale quickly as demand increases,” Jones said.
Jones explained the global peripheral IV market topped one billion units last year. To keep pace with the growth Jones expects with SafeBreak Vascular, he said a manufacturing partner capable of producing tens of millions of devices in a relatively short time frame was needed and that’s why BihlerMED was the right partner.
Peripheral IVs are completely dislodged 10.8% of the time. With more than 230 million peripheral IVs placed annually in the United States, the issue of maintaining IV function is of paramount importance, Jones said. Peripheral IV dislodgement alone costs the US healthcare system over $1 billion annually.
“We believe that Lineus Medical and SafeBreak Vascular have great promise for the future. It’s exciting to be involved in a project that will help prevent IV lines from failing, and improve the comfort and lives of patients and nurses alike,” said Maxine Nordmeyer, CEO of BihlerMED.