Velano Vascular has secured $10 million as the initial tranche of a growth financing to fuel commercialization and the launch of new vascular access solutions. But perhaps most telling about this funding news is the notable investors who kicked in for it.
In addition to strategic investor Intermountain Healthcare, individual investors include Edward Ludwig, former chairman and CEO of Becton Dickson; Marc Benioff, a notable entrepreneur, investor, and health sector philanthropist; Robert Parkinson, former chairman and CEO of Baxter. Other undisclosed investors also participated.
Velano was recently recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies in the industry. The San Francisco, CA-based company said it will use the new funds to meet the rising demand for its technology.
Intermountain previously collaborated with Velano Vascular to test, refine and pilot the company’s needle-free PIVO technology, which FDA cleared in 2017. Following hundreds of thousands of successful blood draws, Intermountain was the first U.S. health system to deploy PIVO systemwide as a standard of care.
“As the first health system in the U.S. to bring PIVO to our inpatient populations, we have witnessed the many positive impacts of Velano’s vision for a one-stick hospitalization firsthand,” said Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. "We are thrilled to deepen our commitment to Velano and help deliver a new, more humane standard of care for all patients.”
With this financing, Velano has raised more than $37 million total from a mix of healthcare companies, health systems, industry veterans, and venture capital firms.
A portion of the funds will also be deployed towards a new manufacturing line currently under construction in the United States. The new facility is expected to begin production in 2019 to meet the growing demand for Velano’s needle-free blood collection solutions.
"Blood collection is a universal issue and PIVO will ultimately touch every human on the planet," said Velano CEO Eric Stone.
When attached to a peripheral IV catheter, another small catheter, situated inside PIVO, advances through the IV catheter into the patient’s vein and draws blood into a syringe or an evacuated tube attached to the other end of PIVO, Stone explained in an MD+DI interview last year. The process takes between 30 seconds and 120 seconds. After the blood draw, practitioners retract PIVO’s catheter from the vein and disconnect the device from the peripheral IV catheter, which can then return to infusion.
Velano is not alone in the pursuit of reducing patient's exposure to needles. The company was one of seven such companies that MD+DI featured last year.