ADVANCE Medical announced today it has raised a US$6 million Series A financing led by Venrock and Brazilian institutional investors and angels to commercialize leading innovative medical technologies in Brazil and other countries in Latin America. The Company specializes in commercializing products that require a more sophisticated sales and marketing approach targeting select physician segments. ADVANCE Medical employs experienced executives from the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries who have experience launching and commercializing products in Latin America. By working closely with the technology originator, ADVANCE Medical is able to gain a more thorough understanding of products and to build a customized commercial strategy and infrastructure on the ground for a launch or further commercial expansion.
Brazil has the seventh largest nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product) worldwide and the fifth largest population with just over 200 million people. Fueled by high export demands from other emerging economies, and recent discoveries of natural resources, the economy is expanding at a rapid pace as in other BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), creating higher disposable income per capita and greater demand for healthcare products and services. For multiple consecutive years, healthcare expenditure in Brazil has been growing at double-digit percent annually. On an absolute basis, Brazil's healthcare expenditure is nearly as high as China's and a multiple of India's. Other economies in Latin America have also been experiencing similar growth, offering attractive markets for companies with innovative products and services.
ADVANCE Medical's first partner is California-based ZELTIQ Aesthetics, the innovative creator of CoolSculpting®, the first medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the non-invasive reduction of localized subcutaneous fat. CoolSculpting® utilizes a novel technique, developed at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, that uses cold to selectively destroy fat cells. Since 2010, CoolSculpting® has been embraced by the global esthetic community with more than 500 systems sold and over 45,000 patients treated. Brazil is one of the largest esthetic markets in the World and CoolSculpting® was recently approved by ANVISA (Brazilian sanitary vigilance agency). ADVANCE Medical is working closely with ZELTIQ Aesthetics in launching the product in Brazil.
"Brazil and other countries in Latin America are poised to offer very attractive growth opportunities to global device, therapeutics and diagnostic companies, but they remain challenging markets to navigate. There is a clear need for a Latin America-based company that can offer commercial creativity, flawless execution, complete transparency, and full legal compliance. ADVANCE's mission is to become the trusted partner of choice for companies with truly innovative products looking for a more sophisticated commercial partner," stated Fred Aslan, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ADVANCE Medical. "We are in a unique and fortunate position to leverage the best of both worlds: access to the most promising products such as CoolSculpting® via our network of US investors and advisors, and the ability to leverage the commercial, regulatory and financial expertise of highly experienced investors, executives, and advisors in Latin America."
The Board of Directors of ADVANCE Medical consists of the follow individuals:
Bryan Roberts, Ph.D.: Dr. Roberts has been at Venrock, one of the oldest and most prestigious venture capital firms in the United States, since 1997. At Venrock, he has invested broadly in healthcare technology including therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostic companies. Dr. Roberts is Chairman of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and serves on the board of over a dozen other healthcare technology companies. He has been ranked the #1 healthcare investor by Forbes magazine since 2008 and is a Henry Crown Fellow. Dr. Roberts received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University.
Jose Bonchristiano: Mr. Bonchristiano is Chairman of Tempo Participacoes, a healthcare insurance company Mr. Bonchristiano founded in 2000, and led as CEO through its public listing on BOVESPA (Sao Paulo stock exchange) in 2007. Tempo Participacoes today employs over 3000 individuals and generates revenues in excess of US$700 million. Mr. Bonchristiano is also a board member and investor in MaisProxima, a multi-channel distribution company in Brazil. Prior to Tempo Participacoes, Mr. Bonchristiano worked at Goldman Sachs in New York City and McKinsey in Sao Paulo. Mr. Bonchristiano received his B.A. in public administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo and his M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mario Grieco, M.D.: Dr. Grieco is President of Moksha8, a Latin America-based pharmaceutical company that commercializes therapeutic products in Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American countries. Prior to joining Moksha8, Dr. Grieco was President of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Brazil, one of the largest pharma companies in Brazil. Prior to BMS, Dr. Grieco was Vice President of Latin America for Pharmacia. Prior to working for Pharmacia, Dr. Grieco held a variety of executive positions at GD Searle where he directed Sales and Marketing efforts for Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada. Dr. Grieco received his M.D. from the Medical School of Sao Paulo and his M.B.A. from F.S. Camilo in Sao Paulo.
Claudio Lottenberg, M.D.: Dr. Lottenberg is President of the Board of Directors of Albert Einstein Hospital, ranked the #1 hospital in Latin America. Dr. Lottenberg is a former Secretary of Health for Sao Paulo. Dr. Lottenberg is one of the most well respected ophthalmologists in Brazil, and received in 2009 the Medalha Moacyr Alvaro, the most prestigious award in ophthalmology in Latin America. Dr. Lottenberg is Founder of LottenEyes, a chain of ophthalmology clinics in Brazil and is a Professor of Public Health at INSPER - IBMEC. Dr. Lottenberg received his M.D. from UNIFESP in Sao Paulo.
Alberto Blay, D.D.M.: Dr. Blay is a practicing dentist and oral surgeon in Sao Paulo and has been a board member of Albert Einstein Hospital since 2003. Dr. Blay represents Rosas Capital Management on the board of ADVANCE Medical. Rosas Capital Management is a large private equity fund based in Sao Paulo with an important stake in Porto Seguro, one of the largest insurance companies in Brazil. Dr. Blay is Founder of M3 Health Participacoes, a research and development company focused on bone substitutes and dental implants. Dr. Blay received his D.D.M. from the Universidade de Santo Amaro and a Masters Degree in Lasers IPEN/FOUSP (soft and hard tissue applications) from USP in Sao Paulo.
Fred Aslan, M.D.: Dr. Aslan has been at Venrock since 2006 and is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ADVANCE Medical. Dr. Aslan grew up in Brazil and has lived in the United States for almost 20 years. While at Venrock, Dr. Aslan has focused his efforts in the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors, has led multiple investments, and presently serves on the Board of Directors of Receptos, Inc. Prior to Venrock, Dr. Aslan was Director of Business Development at CuraGen Corporation (sold to Celldex Therapeutics) and worked at the Boston Consulting Group where he advised Fortune 500 healthcare companies. Dr. Aslan received his B.S. in Biology from Duke University, M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine and M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
About ADVANCE Medical
ADVANCE Medical is a commercial-focused company with offices in Palo Alto and Sao Paulo whose mission is to become the partner-of-choice for innovative global medical technology companies looking to commercialize their products in Brazil and other countries in Latin America. The Company specializes in commercializing products that require a more sophisticated sales and marketing approach targeting select physician segments. ADVANCE Medical employs experienced executives from the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries who have experience launching and commercializing products in Latin America. The Company's first commercial product is CoolSculpting® by ZELTIQ Aesthetics, the first esthetic medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the non-invasive reduction of subcutaneous fat utilizing a clinically-proven technique that utilizes cold to selectively destroy fat cells.