Bright Uro raises $23M to transform care for lower urinary tract symptoms

Steven Loeb · December 1, 2023 · Short URL:

The Glean Urodynamics System enables wireless, catheter-free urodynamics

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) affect up to 70% of adult men and women, a population comprised of people dealing with conditions such as overactive bladder, urinary incontinence, and benign prostate hyperplasia. Depending on the specific condition, treatments may include surgeries, medications, such as α-blockers or anticholinergics, or some combination of the two.  

"One of the most common barriers experienced by patients is access to high-quality specialty care. Due to the large number of people experiencing these issues, it can be difficult for patients to get access to a doctor who can help resolve these issues," explained Derek Herrera, the founder and CEO of Bright Uro, the developer of the Glean Urodynamics System, which enables wireless, catheter-free urodynamics, which announced the initial closing of its $23 million Series A financing round.

Another barrier to care is the sensitive nature of urinary issues that can lead to feelings of embarrassment or shame, preventing some individuals from openly discussing their symptoms with their healthcare providers, as well as diagnostic methods that are also invasive and stigmatizing because they require patients to urinate in front of multiple clinicians with catheters in their bladder and rectum or vagina.

"For others, there are misconceptions or age-related beliefs, that dealing with urinary tract issues is simply a sign of aging, assuming nothing can be done about it. There is a real lack of awareness that these symptoms are medically necessary to treat and that there are effective treatments for LUTS. Many patients also experience fear of invasive procedures or tests, which dissuades them from seeking help, even when their symptoms significantly impact their quality of life," he said.

Currently, the gold standard of care is urodynamics, a comprehensive diagnostic tool that has been in use for over 50 years to treat LUTS; however, due to the time, cost, and space requirement of current urodynamics equipment, clinicians experience challenges with practice efficiency and scheduling, which often negatively impacts revenue and profitability.

Bright Uro's Glean System was designed to help address many of the barriers experienced by patients and clinicians during their treatment journey, with the goal of overcoming these challenges by enabling data collection without catheters and freeing patients from being tethered to an external computer.

With Glean, patients can get up, walk around, and urinate in privacy without being attached to an external computer, which is not possible with conventional technology.

The new funding round was led by Laborie Medical Technologies, a global provider of urology diagnostic and therapeutic solutions, and included investment from Laborie and other existing investors in the company. Bright Uro has also received a $2 million grant from the NIH to support product development and clinical research.

The funding will be used to achieve FDA 510(k) clearance for Glean, with plans to launch the product in the U.S. in 2024.

"Once approved/cleared, this technology will be the first and only way to perform urodynamic testing that is wireless and catheter-free," said Herrera. 

Along with the new funding, the company also announced the appointment of Suranjan Roychowdhury, Ph.D. as its Chief Product Development Officer, and Casey Kanel as its Chief Commercial Officer. Dr. Roychowdhury has led R&D and Clinical at both startups and large medical device companies, including AMS, Cogentix, and Boston Scientific, while Kanel spent the majority of his career with Medtronic, an then led the U.S. launch of Bulkamid for Contura.

"Suranjan and Casey bring decades of experience, customer relationships, and expert industry knowledge to Bright Uro. Their track records of successful leadership in the industry are noteworthy and a major asset to the Bright Uro team," Herrera said.

Ultimately, the goal at Bright Uro is to provide actionable insight to patients and clinicians during their LUTS treatment journey, with the belief that better data and unique insight can improve clinical outcomes," he said.

"We know we will be successful if our technology has made urodynamic testing more comfortable for patients, more accurate for clinicians, and more efficient for health systems."

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