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The headache is over for medical device maker Cierra. Actually it’s all over. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company is out of business after failing to draft enough participants into a clinical trial of a catheter-based technology purported to reduce migraines, VentureWire reported. It takes $29 million in venture capital down with it from investors Delphi Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures and Split Rock Partners.
Believing that migraines could be made less frequent by sealing a passage between the heart’s upper chambers, Cierra followed the lead of peer NMT Medical. This turned out to be a mistake when NMT announced lackluster results from a treatment study and investors started to get cold feet. Another blow came when the Food and Drug Administration restricted the company’s clinical trial participants to those who had already tried three other migraine medications. It briefly tried to redirect its efforts into stroke prevention, but the costs were too high, VentureWire said.
Still, Cierra’s demise hasn’t kept other startups from pursuing the same goal. Aporo Biomedical and Coherex Medical are still exploring devices that could close the heart passage. Coherex recently received $8.5 million from Oxford Bioscience Partners and vSpring Capital and is looking for $25 million more in an open second round of funding. More established AGA Medical Corp. is also conducting trials on something similar, with 470 participants already enrolled in a U.S. study, according to VentureWire.
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