March 16, 2012

VentureWire

GluMetrics Gathers $13.3M As Results For Glucose Monitors Please VCs

On the strength of positive results from several rounds of clinical trials of its glucose-monitoring technology, GluMetrics Inc. is turning to its investors for additional funding, and finding them willing to continue backing the company, its chief executive said.

While the company does not release detailed information about its funding, GluMetrics raised a $20 million Series C round in 2008 from several top-flight venture firms and corporate investors.

Over the past couple of years, the company has been engaged in human clinical trials in Europe, and has gotten back heartening results on the efficacy of its monitors, which are single-use catheter- and sensor systems for the real-time intravenous monitoring of a patient's glucose while in the hospital, Chief Executive William Markle said.

GluMetrics has raised about $13.3 million in bridge loans and equity since those trial results started coming in, he said, and will continue to tap investors as it launches clinical trials in the U.S. The company is aiming to get on the market in Europe first, and then go through the necessary steps to do the same in the U.S., Markle said.

Investors in Irvine, Calif.-based GluMetrics include New Leaf Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures and Versant Ventures, VentureWire archives show.

With the proliferation of modern gadgets like smartphones, a number of start-up companies are developing glucose monitors designed for home use. GluMetrics is going in a different direction, offering a monitor specifically for use in hospitals.

At the heart of the company's technology is a "measurement engine" that will enable the monitors to keep track of plasma glucose in the blood in a continuous fashion, the CEO said.

"The issue with current monitors is that they are designed to be intermittent, not constant," Markle said. "Making a constant device means having to constantly recalibrate."

Most monitors lose their bearing after a certain amount of time, and need to be rolled back to zero frequently in order to get an accurate read.

The GluMetrics measurement engine--an optical measuring tool that uses fluorescent chemistry--eliminates the need to recalibrate the monitor, which is time-consuming and obtrusive, the company says.

Markle declined to give a timeline for the monitors to get through the European or U.S. regulatory processes, and declined to give a valuation for the company.