MENLO PARK — Earlens Corporation, a privately held medical technology company that created and commercialized a revolutionary hearing aid,has closed a $73 million Series C preferred stock financing, and establishment of a structured debt facility with CRG LP for up to $45 million.
The company will use the money to support expanded commercialization of the Earlens Light Driven Hearing Aid, manufacturing scale-up, and next generation R&D pipeline.
New equity investors to Series C included Vertex Healthcare as lead, Cochlear Ltd, CRG, RK Mellon, Windham Venture Partners, and Sightline Partners. Participation by major existing investors included New Enterprise Associates, Aisling Capital, Lightstone Ventures, and Medtronic.
“The Earlens Light Driven Hearing Aid is the first product to deliver the sound quality experience hearing impaired patients have been seeking,” said Luke Duster, Managing Director at CRG. “We believe this technology can dramatically transform the way hearing impairment is addressed. This financing will help Earlens expand its commercial operations while enhancing its product pipeline.”
“We are pleased to partner with CRG which has unrivaled healthcare investing expertise,” said Bill Facteau, CEO of Earlens Corporation. “This investment further confirms Earlens is addressing a real patient need through proprietary, differentiated technology. We look forward to expanding our commercial footprint and bringing the Earlens Light Driven Technology to many more patients, their families and loved ones.”
Unlike conventional hearing aids that use a small speaker to amplify sound, the Earlens Hearing Aid uses focused light and a small lens resting on the eardrum. Together, they create a rich, natural sound while providing the greatest frequency range of any hearing aid. This technology also eliminates the major source of whistling afflicting conventional hearing aids. Clinical studies have shown Earlens can make it easier for people with mild to severe sensorineural hearing impairment to understand people in noisy environments, and participate in group situations.
Earlens was incorporated in 2005.