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Firm raises $43.9m to advance less-invasive treatment for fluid in brain

CereVasc, of Newton, says its shunt eliminates the need for general anesthesia

A Newton medical device startup said Tuesday that it has raised $43.9 million in venture capital to advance its lead product, a minimally invasive shunt to relieve fluid that can build up in the brain as the result of a neurological condition.

CereVasc raised the money to fund a clinical trial of its experimental device, the eShunt System. The firm, which was founded in 2014 and has seven employees, plans to begin enrolling volunteers for the trial in the second half of the year.

The company developed the device to treat hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain that can occur in children and adults. Hydrocephalus is caused by an imbalance between how much cerebrospinal fluid is produced and how much is absorbed into the bloodstream.


Under the current treatment, doctors implant a shunt in an operation performed under general anesthesia, the company said. Patients are typically hospitalized for two to four days.

The eShunt can be installed in a minimally invasive procedure that relies on local anesthesia, the company said. Patients might be able to have the procedure and go home the same day.

“With this financing, we are well positioned to drive the development of our eShunt System forward as we strive to improve care for patients with hydrocephalus,” said Dan Levangie, chairman and chief executive of CereVasc.

Dr. Carl B. Heilman, a cofounder of CereVasc and neurosurgeon-in-chief of Tufts Medical Center, said hydrocephalus is one of the most common neurosurgical conditions, affecting hundreds of thousands of children and adults in the United States. "There was a clear need for a new approach to dramatically simplify the treatment,” he said.

The financing round was led by the Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund and ATON Partners.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jonathan.saltzman@globe.com.