WILMINGTON,TranS1 Inc., a medical device development firm focused on treatment of lower back pain, has closed on $12 million in venture capital.

The B round, led by Advanced Technology Ventures, is the third largest deal closed in North Carolina this year.

Also participating in the round were Delphi Ventures, Cutlass Capital and Sapient Capital.

“Leading investors like ATV, Cutlass, Delphi and Sapient are validating our progress and vision for a major leap forward in the lumbar spine surgery market,” said Rick Randall, chief executive officer of TranS1. “Low back pain affects millions of individuals each year, and our ability to make spine fusion and disc replacement capabilities available on an outpatient basis, without the need to impact sensitive muscle, nerve and spinal support structures in any way, are major milestones in the care of those who suffer from serious spine disease.”

TranS1, which was founded in 2000, is developing means of accessing and treating spinal problems with what the company describes as a minimally invasive procedure. It also is developing implants that can be used for fusion and to alleviate pain.

TranS1 said it would use the funds to complete development of the surgery product that is scheduled to enter clinical trials later this year.

According to TranS1, between 40-60 percent of Americans suffer from back problems, with more than 1 million back operations performed a year. Costs to treat back problems are some $24 billion a year, the company said.

Dr. Andrew Cragg, a surgeon, developed and patented the procedure.

Randall was named CEO last June. He served as CEO and/or president of three other firms — Incumed, Targert Therapeutics, and Innovasive Devices.

TranS1: Web site under development; phone number: 910-509-3100