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Eden Prairie-based Metavention gets $65 million to test diabetes treatment

January 8, 2018 GMT

One of the world’s largest venture capital firms is leading a $65 million funding round that has been completed for a Eden Prairie-based medical device company called Metavention, which is designing a machine to treat type 2 diabetes by burning away nerves thought to drive glucose dysfunction.

Metavention announced Monday that Menlo Park, Calif.-based New Enterprise Associates is leading the $65 million funding, a series C round that includes several new investors. The money will go to pay for the next clinical study that will be needed to get the Metavention product onto the market in the U.S.

Metavention also announced Monday that it has hired med-tech startup executive Todd Berg to become its chief executive. Berg was formerly CEO of Torax Medical, a Twin Cities med-tech company that was acquired last year by Johnson Johnson.

“This financing by a leading investor syndicate and our recruitment of a highly experienced, successful CEO further validates the transformative potential of MNT as the first procedure targeting one of the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes,” Metavention founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bobak Azamian said in a news release Monday.

MNT stands for “metabolic neuromodulation therapy.” Metavention’s MNT device is designed to be used by a physician during a one-hour procedure to burn away, or “ablate,” nerves that lead to metabolic organs like the liver using radio-frequency energy. Overactivity in these nerves is thought to drive high glucose levels, and ablating them has been found in small studies to bring more control to glucose levels.

“Radio-frequency energy is delivered through the walls of the hepatic blood vessels to disable nerves in the surrounding tissue, with the goal of reducing sympathetic tone to the metabolic organs,” Metavention’s website says. “Data from animal and human studies reveals that reducing sympathetic tone allows the body to become less resistant to insulin as well as to produce more insulin, thus treating both root causes of type 2 diabetes.”

Metavention has already run an early first-in-human feasibility study of its MNT therapy on patients at six health care centers in New Zealand. NEA partner Dr. Justin Klein noted Metavention’s “impression foundation” in its early feasibility work.

“We believe MNT has the potential to be a safe, effective, and widely accessible approach to address the Type 2 diabetes pandemic,” Klein said in the news release.

Officials at Minnesota med-tech trade group the Medical Alley Association cheered Monday’s announcement.

“Metavention is a Medical Alley success story, having moved its headquarters from California,” Medical Alley Association CEO Shaye Mandle said in an emailed statement. “With a new raise of $65 million and a focus on impacting one of the most significant diseases, Metavention is contributing to the new definition of value in healthcare.”

Joe Carlson • 612-673-4779