Carticept nails down $10M to fuel Q1 launch of ultrasound drug delivery system

Carticept Medical will launch its new ultrasound-guided, computer-controlled drug delivery system for joint pain medications sometime during its fiscal 2012 first quarter, fueled by a new, $10 million round of Series C financing cash.

The Alpharetta, GA-based company gained 510(k) clearance from the FDA in October for its product formally known as the Navigator DS. Its target market: patients who suffer from joint pain caused by cartilage damage, osteoarthritis or other factors, for whom local injections of corticosteroids and other pain-dulling treatments help. They'll sell their product to orthopedic and sports medicine centers across the country, according to their announcement.

The Navigator DS uses ultrasound to guide where a clinician places the needle before making the injection, and then the system records the treatment data. That information is then transferred to an electronic record management system to update a patient's file. Having such a system is intended to reduce human error in delivering an injection and also automates the preparation of a given dose. Traditionally, clinicians have relied on their skill to make those injections.

Carticept's product isn't a sure thing. In a cost-conscious environment overshadowed by national health care reform, the company will have to justify the product's cost. And the system may be a little bit ahead of its time for some. Electronic medical records still aren't widely used yet and that feature may be too advanced for some clients, at least in the near future.

Carticept, which began in 2005, raised its new financing from existing investors Domain Associates, New Enterprise Associates and SonoSite. Including the new funding, Carticept has raised $53 million to date.

- here's the release

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