Indianapolis, IN,-based medical device maker Nico Corp. has reached the $20 million mark in funds raised since 2008 – recently adding $6.5 million from existing shareholders and Board members. The additional funds support the company’s goal of progressing minimally invasive neurosurgery through a systems approach for safely accessing deep brain abnormalities and removing these tumors through smaller openings. Educating on how Nico technology is used with existing technologies like imaging, navigation, and optics is part of addressing improved clinical and economic outcomes expected by today’s healthcare environment.
“We’ve raised additional funds because we are growing and realizing our goal of revolutionizing neurosurgery through the development of new and modern ways to remove tumors and tissue abnormalities from the brain with the least amount of negative impact to the patient,” says Jim Pearson, president and CEO of Nico Corp. “This is much like the transition from conventional knee surgery to arthroscopic surgery. The clinical and economic benefits are obvious, and minimally invasive approaches to most kinds of surgery are safe and simply better for the patient.
“This is true, too, in many instances in neurosurgery,” Pearson adds. “The time has come for moving
minimally invasive surgery trends to brain surgery, and less invasive brain surgery with minimized trauma and
improved recovery metrics is a vision worth funding. The market is confirming this with the commitments from
our last round of funding and the expansion of our customer base.”
The new infusion of capital will also support the company’s development of new technology in market segments addressing metastatic brain cancer, intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs), and glioblastoma multiforme (GBMs) – disease states once considered to be inoperable in many cases. Nico offers patented technologies for access and removal of tissue abnormalities through small corridors and delivery of in situ adjuvant therapies within neurosurgery and other related fields.
Nico's initial product, the Myraid, is used in 50% of the top hospital neurosurgery centers as named in the 2012 U.S. News and World Report rankings. More than 80 hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Australia have adopted the technology and four peer-reviewed clinical papers sharing the positive results of the Myriad have been independently published in neurosurgical journals.
Among Nico’s investors were Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, River Cities Capital Fund, CHV Capital, Cornelius Private Investments, and Twilight Venture Partners, all investors in earlier capital initiatives and among more than 60 investors overall.
“The driving factors for our investment were Nico's team, the technology, and the opportunity to significantly improve clinical and economic outcomes in treating patients,” says Kyle Salyers, managing director of CHV Capital, an investment firm associated with IU Health. “With the initial investment, Nico’s team executed exceptionally well and built value in the business. With the current investment, we believe the company will transform the standard of care in treating a large set of neurological disorders while improving outcomes for patients and for the hospital.”
Pearson says Nico has done an excellent job of creating a new and much needed neurosurgical market that is focused on progressing minimally invasive corridor neurosurgery. At the same time, he says, they have managed expenses and cash to maximize the shareholders’ investment in the company. Carter McNaab, managing director of Investor River Cities Capital Fund, says the Nico management team was a key motivator in investing a third time with Nico.
“They are world class and have great vision. They understand how to apply technology to address unmet clinical needs and they have the skillset to execute in a dynamic and changing environment,” he says. “We share the team’s enthusiasm for vastly improving clinical outcomes in neurosurgery and saw an opportunity for big returns in an underserved market.”
More than 200,000 people in the United States and 2 million people worldwide are diagnosed with a brain tumor every year. They are the leading cause of solid tumor cancer deaths in children under the age of 20, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in male adults ages 20-29, and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in females ages 20-29. The Myriad device has clinical applications for both adult and children patient populations.