Avantis Medical Systems, Inc. Raises $10 Million in Series C Funding

January 16, 2009

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ — Avantis Medical Systems, Inc.
announced today the closing of $10 million in Series C funding.

The funding was led by MC Silicon Valley / Mitsubishi International and
joined by existing investors including Montreux Equity Partners, Thomas J.
, M.D. and CN Investment Partners. In connection with the Series C
funding, Noboru Ohrui, Manager, Healthcare Solutions, Mitsubishi International
has been elected to Avantis Medical’s board of directors.

Avantis Medical plans to utilize the financing to establish selected
Centers of Excellence across the U.S. to facilitate the commercial launch of
the Third Eye(R) Retroscope(R), to collect Level 1 evidence to further support
its clinical utility, and to fund sales and marketing efforts.

“We are pleased to have raised this financing in an extremely tough
market, and to have earned the confidence of Mitsubishi International as well
as the continued trust and support of our existing investors,” said Scott
, President & CEO of Avantis Medical. “We are looking forward to this
year’s commercial launch, and to pursuing our mission of delivering cost-
effective solutions for improved detection and prevention of cancers of the
gastrointestinal (GI) tract.”

“Avantis Medical has developed an effective and promising new technology
to improve upon the gold standard procedure in colon cancer care,” said
Avantis Medical board member Noboru Ohrui, Manager, Healthcare Solutions,
Mitsubishi International. “This is an exciting time in the life cycle of
Avantis Medical and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Avantis Medical is the maker of the Third Eye(R) Retroscope(R), an imaging
device used in conjunction with a standard colonoscope that provides a
retrograde (backward) view of the colon that complements the forward view of
the colonoscope. Operating as a “rear view mirror,” in conjunction with a
standard colonoscope, the Third Eye Retroscope helps to visualize blind spots
in the colon. The device is FDA 510(k) cleared for providing additional
illumination and visualization during colonoscopy, and also has its CE mark
for distribution in the EU.

“Used during colonoscopy, the Third Eye Retroscope helps visualize blind
spots, allowing the physician to see more of the colon and potentially find
more polyps and adenomas,” said Dodson.

Recent Clinical Developments in Colorectal Cancer and Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is the second greatest cause of cancer death in the U.S.
and in Europe.(1) However, most cancers of the lower gastrointestinal (GI)
tract can be successfully treated if detected early. Even more cases can be
prevented if pre-cancerous lesions can be removed before they become

Colonoscopy is widely regarded as the “gold standard” for detection of
abnormalities in the colon. However, research has revealed that 12-24 percent
of polyps and a significant number of cancers can be missed during

Furthermore, a recent large study analysis involving more than 10,000
cancer patients who died of colorectal cancer (Baxter, et al) indicated that
colonoscopy missed about one-third of colorectal cancers (CRCs) on the left
side of the colon and 40-67 percent of the CRCs on the right side of the
colon.(5) The authors stated that, of the study patients who later passed
away from CRC, more than twice the number of patients had lesions on the
right-side of the colon vs. the left side.

“Even though these studies indicate that colonoscopy isn’t perfect, we
shouldn’t get complacent,” said Daniel DeMarco, MD, medical director of
endoscopy and physician on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical
Center at Dallas. “A possible reason cited by authors of the Baxter study for
higher ‘miss rates’ with the right-sided lesions was because they are more
likely to be flat, making them more difficult to detect and remove than raised
lesions. Moreover, these hard-to-see flat lesions are nearly ten times more
likely to be cancerous than the raised lesions. So if physicians see an
opportunity to use equipment that may help do a better job in detection, we
should take it.”

Third Eye Retroscope Improves Rear & Right-Side Visualization During

The most recent Third Eye Retroscope study (Waye, et al.) indicated that,
when used in combination with a standard forward-viewing colonoscope, the
device revealed areas that are often hidden from the standard colonoscope, and
increased polyp detection rates by 13.0 percent by providing visualization of
the colon behind folds and flexures. The same study showed a 10.9 percent
increase over the colonoscope alone, in detection of adenomas.

Moreover, the study suggested that while the Third Eye Retroscope is
effective in detecting additional polyps in the left colon, it is 10.6 percent
more effective in detecting additional lesions in the right colon compared to
the left colon.

“These results are important to both doctors and patients, because most
cases of colon cancer arise from adenomas,” said Dr. DeMarco. “The best way
for patients to ensure that patients are getting the most benefit of their
colonoscopy procedure — and therefore, the best possible screening — is to
make sure their procedure is performed by an experienced doctor working with
the most up-to-date equipment, including advanced scopes and visualization

About the Third Eye (R) Retroscope (R)

The Third Eye Retroscope is designed to complement, not to replace,
standard colonoscopes. Therefore it does not alter existing procedural
infrastructure or referral patterns, and does not require a major investment
from the doctor or hospital for large medical equipment or systems. The device
can be used with most adult colonoscopes currently produced by the leading

The “chip-on-catheter” platform for the Third Eye Retroscope is also the
basis for a number of other products that Avantis Medical is developing for
use in gastroenterology and in other medical and surgical specialties. Like
the Third Eye Retroscope, most of these innovative devices are designed to be
disposable, which eliminates the need for sterilization and the risk of

About Avantis Medical, Inc.

Avantis Medical Systems, Inc. is a visualization technology company
focused on delivering cost effective solutions for the improved detection and
prevention of cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The Avantis Medical team is developing solutions for the limitations
associated with technologies that are currently used to screen, assess and
treat cancer throughout the body. Avantis Medical has an extensive portfolio
of patents covering innovative devices based on the convergent technologies of
micro-chips, enhanced video processing and catheter based delivery systems.
For more information, visit http://www.avantismedical.com.

    1.  According to the European Cancer Patient Coalition, Health First
        Europe and the American Cancer Society.

    2.  Pickhardt, P.J.; Nugent, P.A.; Mysliwiec, P.A.; et al. Location of
        adenomas missed by optical colonoscopy. Annals of Internal Medicine
        141(5):352-360, 2004.

    3.  Pabby, A.; Schoen, R.E.; Weissfeld, J.L.; et al. Analysis of
        colorectal cancer occurrence during surveillance colonoscopy in the
        dietary Polyp Prevention Trial. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
        61(3):385-391, 2005.

    4.  Rex, D.K.; Cutler, C.S.; Lemmel, G.T.; et al. Colonoscopic miss rates
        of adenomas determined by back-to-back colonoscopies. Gastroenterology
        112(1):24-28, 1997.

    5.  Baxter, N.N.; Goldwasser, M.A.; Paszat, L.F.; Saskin, R.; Urbach,
        D.R.; Rabeneck, L. To evaluate the association between colonoscopy and
        CRC deaths. Annals of Internal Medicine 150:1-8, 2009

SOURCE Avantis Medical Systems, Inc.

Source: newswire

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