PRESS RELEASE – Soundbite Medical Solutions has chosen Sherbrooke to officially launch its operations and start an important phase in the development of a cutting-edge medical device that will replace bypass surgery and amputations for treating blocked arteries. In two closely spaced rounds of financing, nearly $2.4 million in startup funds has been invested by various partners, including Sherbrooke Innopole and angel investors who are members of Anges Québec.
Sherbrooke Innopole contributed part of the funding, in syndication with a private investor, via its new seed fund. “It’s great to see the attraction and retention potential of companies commercializing technology coming out of Université de Sherbrooke,” said Josée Blanchard, Director, Business Development‒Life Sciences and Micro-nanotechnologies at Sherbrooke Innopole. “Soundbite’s CEO, Steve Arless, is a seasoned entrepreneur, and we’re proud to welcome him here for this new project.”
Steve Arless, CEO and Martin Brouillette, CTO, co-founders of Soundbite Medical Solutions with Steven Dion, Product Development Director and Louis-Philippe Riel, Scientific Development Director (both absent from the photo)
Angel investors from Anges Québec have also participated in the financing, for a total investment of $620,000. According to angel investor Marc Leroux, “Soundbite has a brilliant future ahead of it and is destined to be very successful internationally. In addition to using an invention from a Quebec university, it has developed a product that will help improve medical practices and bring relief to numerous patients I am very proud to have helped it find its wings.”
The medical device developed by Soundbite is able to free up blood vessels blocked by very hard atherosclerotic plaque that other technologies currently on the market cannot handle. A sound wave passing through a guidewire acts like a pneumatic drill, piercing the plaque and freeing up space in the artery. The hole is big enough to pass a balloon catheter through to clean out the artery. This technology will spare patients long open-heart operations or even amputation of lower limbs.
“I decided to get involved and take on a leadership role in this very promising Company, because it is a unique technology platform that addresses several clinical unmet needs in the cardiovascular medical devices sector,” said Steve Arless, Co-Founder and CEO.
The Soundbite technology platform was developed in Université de Sherbrooke’s laboratories. Martin Brouillette, professor of mechanical engineering at Université de Sherbrooke and Chief Technology Officer at Soundbite, has been developing the prototype system for over 10 years. “After all these years, we’re finally close to our goal. Our product is in its final development phase. Thanks to clinical trials conducted in Montreal, we’ll be able to make the final adjustments before commercializing it.”
Soundbite currently employs seven people at its R&D facilities in Sherbrooke, and three more will likely be hired by the end of 2016. The Team is giving itself 18 months to launch the device, first in Europe and then in North America.
Sources: Soundbite Medical Solutions, Sherbrooke Innopole, and Anges Québec