SEATTLE, Washington, January 12, 2020 – Opticyte, Inc, a medical device innovator developing proprietary advanced algorithms and tailored optical spectroscopy technology to measure and detect low oxygen levels in cells to prevent organ failure, announced the recent culmination of private capital and grant funding. 

The $4.6MM in funding is enabling Opticyte to address sepsis–the primary cause of organ failure and the most expensive condition to treat for in the U.S. healthcare system. Opticyte’s real-time technology targets a critical unmet need. Globally, about 50 million people are diagnosed with sepsis and as many as 11 million will die each year. Sepsis is responsible for one in three hospital deaths in the U.S. alone, according to the CDC.

Cellular oxygen levels, unlike oxygen levels in arterial blood detected by pulse oximeters, mirror oxygen levels in organs. The severity of oxygen deficiency and potential for organ failure can be directly evaluated through the continuous monitoring of cell oxygenation with the Opticyte Cell O2 Monitor.

“This funding validates a strong interest and confidence in our technology to reshape the standard of care related to the treatment of organ failure with new and unprecedented patient information,” said Opticyte Co-Founder and CEO Lori Arakaki, PhD. “By delivering definitive data to clinicians, our Cell O2 Monitor holds the promise of early detection of organ dysfunction in sepsis patients, which can lead to organ failure if not corrected. The global addressable market for the Cell O2 Monitor is 3.4 billion dollars, representing a substantial business opportunity for Opticyte.”

The Opticyte Cell O2 Monitor is scheduled to begin a prospective observational study at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington in 2021.

“Early identification and treatment of sepsis continues to be challenging. Opticyte’s Cell O2 Monitor holds promise regarding multiple aspects of sepsis care, including early identification of sepsis-defining organ dysfunction, prediction of clinical course after hospitalization, and optimization of fluid resuscitation. If the technology proves out, the device could have a significant impact on improving patient outcomes in sepsis,” said Daniel Henning, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Henning will be the Principal Investigator of the Harborview observational study. 

The completed $1.7MM seed funding round, which closed in November of this year, was led by SWAN Venture Fund II and StarFish Medical. Opticyte received $1.1MM of initial non-dilutive funding from the NIH in 2016, with the most recent $2.9MM SBIR Phase IIB grant awarded in May of 2020.

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ABOUT OPTICYTE: Opticyte, Inc, founded in 2016, is a spinoff from the University of Washington. Headquartered in Seattle, WA, Opticyte employs engineering, regulatory, and communications teams with deep experience in bringing medical devices to market.