Zühlke Ventures invests in medical start-up Tenon Technology
Tenon Technology AG is developing implants for fixation of the sacroiliac joint. This is the joint which connects the hip bones to the spinal column and as a consequence is subjected to continuous strain. Inflammation in this area causes painful lower back problems and can be debilitating. Non-surgical treatments generally result in only temporary improvement, and in chronic cases surgical fixation remains the only option. The market for sacroiliac joint fixation is large and is growing disproportionately compared to the back orthopaedic market as a whole.
The implant being developed by Tenon has an innovative shape and can be fitted using a simple surgical procedure. The implant stabilises the joint via a press fit, i.e. without the use of screws. A single implant is used for each joint and the operation uses a minimally invasive technique via an easily accessible incision. The operation is simpler, more efficient and carries fewer risks. Patents have been registered internationally.
Tenon has closed a first financing round. The start-up is financed by Zühlke Ventures AG and US investors and entrepreneurs, thereby benefitting from Zühlke’s US medical technology network. According to Martin Rutishauser, Executive Partner at Zühlke Ventures and Chairman of the Tenon board of directors, “This implant has the potential to be a market leader. The product is a perfect fit for Zühlke – it is innovative and builds on the latest medical insights.” The team of investors also has access to a large network of medical and technical partners. The implant is developed in Switzerland by Zühlke Engineering AG in close partnership with influential US research institutes and laboratories.
Swiss start-up turns to the Nasdaq
Last year Auris Medical raised more than CHF47 million in venture capital for further growth. This was the largest round of financing in Switzerland in 2013. The company has two drugs in development: an injection for tinnitus and a drug for hearing loss in the inner ear. The tinnitus medication has already started the third and most expensive stage of development, the phase III trial. The Basel company, which has its headquarters in Zug, intends to raise the necessary capital on the Nasdaq: the IPO should bring Auris a total of $95 million in new money.