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Medical device company raises $12.3 million, plans move to Atlanta

Tuesday, July 11, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristen Pappaterra
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Dune Medical Devices, a metro Philadelphia-based company dedicated to identifying microscopic residual cancer, is moving its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta.

The company also closed a $12.3 million funding round on July 6. Investors included Canepa Healthcare, ATON Partners and the Kraft Group.

Dune's MarginProbe System is used during breast cancer lumpectomy procedures to test whether the surgery has removed all the cancerous cells.

Typically, women must wait at least five to seven days after the procedure to see if physicians "got it all," and currently 20 to 30 percent of those who undergo lumpectomies will need a second surgery.

"That's really the challenge that's out there, and it's a huge cost to the health-care system as well as a pretty big stress to the patient," said Lori Chmura, CEO of Dune Medical Devices. "It's really important to get all the cancer out the first time."

MarginProbe has shown to reduce re-excision rates up to 79 percent. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the device in 2012, and it already has been used on 10,000 patients.

MarginProbe uses a proprietary radiofrequency spectroscopy platform that also has potential to be applied to a variety of other cancers.

"It essentially uses radio frequency fields to reflect what the differences are between cancer and non-cancer," Chmura said. "."[The device] looks like a pen. You put it up to the tissue once the specimen is removed and the system acquires and delivers a signal that says whether it's cancerous or not."

Dune's technology has attracted attention worldwide, and last year it received a grant of three million euros from EU Horizon 2020 to continue developing the technology.

"Our goal is to make this a standard of care in breast conservation surgery," Chmura said. "We're in the process right now of developing technology to be able to detect microscopic residual cancer for other types of cancer as well."

After breast cancer, Dune will focus on prostate cancer. The company's goal is to expand MarginProbe's capabilities to endoscopic, laparoscopic and robotic surgeries for cancers like pancreatic, lung, gastrointestinal and colon cancers.

Originally founded in Israel, Dune is in the process of moving its U.S. headquarters from metro Philadelphia to Alpharetta, where it has leased office space on Windward Parkway. The office will start with five to seven full-time employees and grow with time, Chmura said.

"Atlanta has shown to be very open to working with Israeli startup companies, which is important to us," Chmura said. "We are moving our headquarters to Alpharetta to really capitalize on the health IT market as well as the benefits of [the Southeastern Medical Device Association, located in Norcross, Ga.], the Global Center for Medical Innovation and some of the other great medical device organizations in Atlanta."



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