The Seattle area continues to be a hotbed of innovation in the field of ultrasound technology, with news today that Kona Medical has attracted a $30 million round of venture capital financing. The Bellevue company, which is developing methods to reduce high blood pressure using ultrasound, is backed by Essex Woodlands, Domain Associates, Morgenthaler Ventures and BioStar Ventures.
In addition to the funding, former SonoSite executive John Bowers has joined Kona as chief operating officer. He’s the former senior vice president at SonoSite, maker of the handheld ultrasound devices, and the former CEO of Northstar Neuroscience.
Founded in 2009 with technology from Therus Corp., the company is led by Oraya Therapeutics founder Michael Gertner.
Here’s a description of how the technology works from the company’s Web site:
Kona is developing an ultrasound-based approach to address severe high blood pressure (hypertension) through ablation of the renal nerves. Renal nerves are located proximal to the renal arteries, which provide blood flow to the kidneys. Renal nerves are part of the sympathetic nervous system and play a significant role in determining blood pressure. Recent clinical data have shown that ablation of renal nerves can result in profound and lasting reduction in hypertension in patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled by medication.
More on the company from MedCityNews, with Bowers noting that the non-invasive procedure could eventually be performed in an office setting. Meanwhile, Xconomy notes that the 18-person startup will use the funds to expand in San Francisco and the Seattle area.