Israeli startup BioProtect, which developed a bio-absorbable balloon that reduces the harm from prostate cancer radiation, announced the completion of a $25 million Series D equity financing round. The investment was led by Almeda Ventures and Vincent Tchenguiz, chairman of Consensus Business Group, a prominent private equity investor in Israel and the UK, with participation from KB Investment of South Korea, Peregrine Ventures, and Triventures as well.
The bio-absorbable balloon that reduces radiation
Over a million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, with around 400,000 of them expected to go through radiotherapy. In the past, radiotherapy for prostate cancer had been limited due to fear of toxicity to the neighboring organ - the rectum.
BioProtect developed a polymer spacer balloon called ProSpace, which helps reduce the harm from radiotherapy by physically spacing the prostate from the rectum. Once injected the spacer offers physicians a consistent gap of over 1.5cm, which is visible under trans rectal ultrasound as well as CT. After the treatment is done, only then does the unique polymer balloon absorb into the body.
BioProtect note that its product provides a solution for a $4 billion market, with potential future capabilities to safeguard healthy tissue in other cancer treatments, like cervical cancer radiation therapy, pancreas radiation and general surgery.
In a conversation with Geektime, CEO Gil Rosen explained that the COVID-19 outbreak did not affect the company’s round, on the contrary, actually may have helped it: “In our case, it did not stall the process at all, I could even say that investors saw us progressing and used that as a positive indication.”
Regarding the equity financing round Rosen said that “this financing will allow the company to complete its pivotal study, gain FDA approval, and accelerate the development of the next indication to our platform." BioProtect was founded in 2004 by Dr. Adrian Paz, Prof, Avi Domb, and CTO Shaul Shohat. Including this round, the company has raised a total of $37 million to-date.