Viscogliosi Brothers Close $55M Series A Financing Round | Orthopedics This Week
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Viscogliosi Brothers Close $55M Series A Financing Round

Sources: Viscogliosi Bros., LLC and Companion Spine

Big news for the spine industry as Companion Spine emerges from stealth mode with the announcement of a successful $55 million Series A financing round. The round was led by co-founder Viscogliosi Bros., LLC with a joint investment from a prominent global medical technology company.

Introducing Companion Spine

The Viscogliosi Bros. (VBs) and Erick Cloix came together in 2020 to form Companion Spine, an innovative spine company headquartered in Bordeaux, France. According to its website, the company’s solutions target the following conditions: degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, injury-related pain, and general back pain. Notably, the company is developing alternative medical solutions to spinal fusion.

Companion Spine already boasts an extensive medical and diagnostic portfolio, thanks in part to its 2020 acquisition of “regulatory and clinical property” from Medtronic Spine. This impressive acquisition included “a portfolio of six patent families covering a total of more than 140 patents, as well as an inventory of instruments and implants sets.”

The funds raised will be used to “finalize the development of innovative diagnostic tools” focused on identifying the causes of pain, especially pain that impacts spine functionality. By combining diagnosis with targeted solutions, Companion Spine intends to pave “the way for a new way of managing spine pain, allowing patients to avoid heavier and irreversible treatment options such as spine fusion.”

Additionally, use of funds will include development and commercialization of the plethora of products and solutions it acquired from Medtronic Spine which target degenerative disc disease and lumbar spine stenosis. Of course, Companion Spine will be serving global markets.

Notably, last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted a Breakthrough Device Designation to the DIAM™ implant, which was among the intellectual property, implants and instruments the VBs acquired.

Comments from CEO Erick Cloix

Companion Spine CEO and Co-Founder Erick Cloix is a veteran in the medical device space. He began his 25-year career at Stryker where he became Stryker Spine President when he was just 33 years old. He continued his impressive career with the creation of Spine Next and then Implanet. Currently, in addition to his leadership role with Companion Spine, he is also a founder and principal with David Brown Partners Consulting, a boutique consulting firm.

Cloix described Companion Spine’s evolving role in the spine sector by noting that the industry is undergoing “A paradigm shift in the management of spine pathologies. Many other healthcare sectors have experienced such a shift because of new technical and scientific innovations. Companion Spine is positioned to become a major actor of this change due to its unique focus and its comprehensive solutions which are adapted to the needs of patients and back pain specialists throughout their entire journey, aiming at precisely diagnosing and treating back pain earlier, for good, precisely, and efficiently.”

Cloix continued, “Patients and health authorities are now in favor of these quicker, lighter, less risky and highly effective interventional surgical techniques and their ability to compete with, and even surpass, the standard of irreversible treatment imposed by spinal fusion."

Cloix also expressed excitement about the funding, remarking, “I am thrilled by the completion of this very important financing in our sector of activity, which testifies not only to the support and confidence of our co-founder and main shareholder, Viscogliosi Brothers, but also to the medical relevance of the technologies for the preservation and protection of functional mobility of the spinal segment, and to the interest of the business model developed by Companion Spine, with the participation of a leading spine medical devices manufacturer from which a large part of the patents for some of our innovations originate.”

Cloix continued, “With this fundraising, which provides us with a solid cash flow and long-term financial visibility, Companion Spine will be able to focus entirely on the development and commercialization of its first group of medical, diagnostic, and implantable devices, specifically DIAM™ and APERIUS™, our spinal implants for the treatment of low back pain, as well as DISC ANALYZER™, a new and unique technology for the precise diagnosis and monitoring of back pain. United States commercialization of these breakthrough innovations is expected during 2023 and 2024.”

Companion Spine’s overall goals are to, “Change the world by changing the standard of care for patients in low back pain by providing earlier, safer, reversible, functional motion and anatomy preserving solutions as well as better diagnostics tools.”

About Viscogliosi Bros.

In 1999, brothers Marc R. Viscogliosi, John J. Viscogliosi, and Anthony G. Viscogliosi founded Viscogliosi Bros., a New York-based global investor in the neuromusculoskeletal/orthopedics industry.

Since its founding, Viscogliosi Bros. has focused on investing in innovative orthopedic technologies. Its legacy includes more than 35 companies in the neuromusculoskeletal/orthopedics sector and countless successful products, including, per its website, “ten number one orthopedic technologies.” The company seems poised to increase that number with its investment in Companion Spine.

Investor Insight

OTW had the opportunity to speak with Viscogliosi Bros. Principal Anthony G. Viscogliosi who, over the past 31 years, has “founded more than 20 companies and investment funds in the neuro-musculoskeletal/orthopedic industry.”

OTW asked Viscogliosi about the decision to headquarter Companion Spine in Bordeaux, France. Viscogliosi explained to OTW, “This decision has nothing to do with the fine quality of French Bordeaux wine, however, that is a real plus. More realistically, the decision was based upon the management team that we selected to help us found the business and create and develop this opportunity.”

“Second, we recognized the historical innovation in Spine Pain Management evolving out of the Bordeaux clinical and scientific spine group. Third, we found it valuable to create some funding and tax advantages provided by the French Government.”

OTW also asked Viscogliosi about what sets Companion Spine apart from its competitors. “In one word, everything,” said Viscogliosi, “First, it’s the team—the most highly experienced team in the entire spine universe with experience dedicated to alleviating pain while restoring form, function, anatomy and balance. Second, it is the funding team—very strong experienced partner as VB [Viscogliosi Bros.] that has created companies that develop market leading innovations combined with an incredible globally significant MedTech strategic partner that is highly knowledgeable and experienced.”

“Third, a business focus unlike others—dedicated to the interventional pain management physician and at the same time the spine orthopedic surgeon and neurosurgeon offering diagnostic tools and clinically validated pain relieving and motion preserving implants. Last, it is the focus of the company to not just sell products and grow sales, but rather to be the companion of the patient along their personal journey in the management of spine disease and associated pain.”

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