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April 02, 2008

Alure Medical Limits VC Involvement In $4.5M Round

By Jonathan Matsey - VentureWire Professional

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (April 2, 2008) -- Aesthetics device company Alure Medical Inc. has raised $4.5 million in Series A financing to secure U.S. clearance for its breast lift device.

EDF Ventures, which also converted seed financing provided last year, and individual investors provided the round. The company has a post-money valuation of more than $15 million, President and Chief Executive France Dixon Helfer said.

Based in San Diego, Alure was founded with technology developed by Randy Lashinski and Gordon Bishop, who also developed percutaneous valve company Direct Flow Medical Inc. With this, their newest start-up, they have developed minimally invasive soft tissue devices designed to lift sagging tissue, a market Helfer said will expand as the baby boomer population continues to age.

Alure's first device, the Refine Breast Lift System, is designed for patients with breast ptosis, or sagging, as a replacement to implants or mastoplexy surgery, which Helfer said do not look natural and require more invasive procedures. "This is for women who do not want implants and don't want brutal scarring," she said.

The system involves soft-tissue anchors and springs, which the surgeon can use to lift the breast one or two inches up; Helfer said the surgeon also has the ability to bring them closer together. "The springs are there to give natural motion, because no one wants their breasts not to move," she said.

Helfer said she expects the device to secure 510(k) clearance later this year, and to be released in 2009 following marketing trials.

Alure is also developing a second device for neck sagging.

Despite the participation of early-stage investor EDF, Helfer said she consciously avoided venture capitalists to fill out the round to avoid too much dilution. "I did not want venture money," she said. "They would have pulled back on the valuation too much."

Helfer said she expects the current round to last about a year and a half. Alure has eight employees.


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