RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Durham-based Levee Medical has gotten additional financial backing for its first product to improve patient outcomes after prostate surgery.

The medical device startup announced that it has raised $4.3 million in oversubscribed funds that will be used to advance its Voro Urologic Scaffold. The investigational product is currently the only bioabsorbable implant to treat urinary incontinence following the surgical removal of the prostate gland.

To support development of the device, Levee also has recently hired Tessa Yamut as executive vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs.

In August, the company announced the closure of an earlier series A financing round that accounted for $6.6 million. That brings the total amount raised during the past several months to almost $11 million.

“This latest funding will serve as a powerful catalyst, propelling our clinical and regulatory efforts forward, expediting the path to commercialization, and facilitating the development and execution of a robust clinical strategy for our groundbreaking technology,” said Levee founder and Chief Technology Officer Bruce Choi. “With the support of our valued investors and dedicated team, we are poised to make a profound impact on patients undergoing surgical treatment for prostate cancer.”

Levee Choi
Levee Founder and CTO Bruce Choi

The Voro Urologic Scaffold is designed to reduce stress on the urinary sphincter – the muscular structure that regulates the outflow of urine from the bladder into the urethra – by managing the geometry of the bladder neck and maintaining urethral length, according to Levee.

The company said it has successfully treated the initial participants in its first-in-human (FIH) clinical study, which is designed to evaluate the safety and performance of the Voro device. Levee CEO Adam Irving said the goal is to have the product ready for market in the next two to three years.

The Voro Scaffold will potentially fill a significant need. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, and the primary type of surgery to handle the disease is radical prostatectomy. Nearly all men experience urinary incontinence after the procedure, and about 15% of patients develop a chronic problem. Current therapies for post-prostatectomy incontinence are invasive, inconvenient and inadequate, according to Levee.

About Levee Medical

The company, which is privately owned, was established in 2018. It has a full-time workforce of four people and is headquartered on Emperor Boulevard in Durham. Kevin Hopkins, vice president of quality, also is a member of the leadership team along with Choi, Irving, and Yamut.