Sophono Says ‘Oh-Yeah’ to $7M Round

Sophono, the medical device manufacturer specializing in hearing implants, closed a $7 million Series B round. Connecticut-based Wexford Capital led the financing; Paul Meiyal and Mark Zand will each join Sophono’s board of directors. Sophono is based in Boulder, Colorado.


Boulder, Colo., August 27, 2012 – Sophono, Inc., the medical device manufacturer specializing in implantable, bone conduction hearing devices, has closed on $7 million in growth capital financing.

Wexford Capital LP led the Series B round of financing. Based in Greenwich, Conn., Wexford is an SEC-registered investment advisor with more than $5.1 billion of assets under management. The firm manages a series of hedge funds and private equity funds, with more than $2 billion in private equity investments. Paul A. Mieyal, Ph.D., Wexford’s vice president and director of Life Sciences Investments, and Mark Zand, a Wexford partner, will join Sophono’s board of directors.

Sophono will use the new financing to fuel product and business development efforts for its proven technology, according to Jim Kasic, president and CEO. Chief among these are to increase a global sales force, further develop products already on the market, introduce additional products and expand manufacturing facilities in Boulder.

“The new funding demonstrates the continuing belief in Sophono’s business model and opportunities,” says Kasic. “The investment provides the resources for Sophono to expand awareness, understanding and distribution of its proven technology and product. While our products are already helping people throughout the world, we will now be able to reach some of the more than two million individuals standing to benefit from our technology.”

Implanted magnetic hearing device
Sophono manufactures implanted magnetic hearing devices. Its FDA-cleared Alpha 1 is the only abutment-free, implantable, bone-anchored hearing device, designed for individuals with conductive hearing loss (outer or middle ear), mixed hearing loss (both middle and inner ear), and single-ear deafness.

The Sophono Alpha 1 uses magnets to attach an audio processor to a patient’s skull. That external processor picks up sounds, digitally amplifies them, and converts them into vibrations that travel through the skin and skull to the cochlea in the ear. The wearer then can hear the sounds.

The Alpha 1 represents a significant improvement over other devices treating the identified conditions. Other devices have incorporated a skin-penetrating abutment that protrudes permanently through the scalp. These devices have resulted in high infection and complication rates, and, as a result, low adoption and user rates. The Sophono Alpha 1 eliminates the problematic abutment issue with a safe, hygienic, cosmetically appealing solution. The simple, standardized surgical procedure to implant the device features a low complication rate and a small incision that heals quickly and completely. The device and procedure are reimbursable by most insurance companies.

Early-stage financing
The Series B funding follows early-stage financing from the Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development (CID4), a not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing the Colorado bioscience ecosystem through company creation and job growth. CID4’s convertible note investment of $600,000 in 2010 assisted Sophono in obtaining FDA clearance and launching its U.S. sales effort. “The Wexford investment will provide Sophono with much-needed investment capital, and confirms our belief in the Sophono management team,” states Kevin M. Smith, CID4’s president/CEO.

Sophono, Inc. (
Sophono, Inc., is a medical device manufacturer specializing in implantable, bone conduction hearing devices. The company’s products are designed for individuals suffering from severe to profound hearing loss or impairment. The Alpha 1 is the only abutment-free, implantable, bone-anchored hearing device. Treating those with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, and single-ear deafness, the FDA-cleared product Alpha 1 eliminates the problematic abutment of devices by using magnets to affix external sound processors.

Sophono corporate headquarters and manufacturing operations reside in Boulder, Colo. The company maintains an office in Germany, and sells through distributors in more than 20 countries.