Bloomington-based Relievant Medsystems received a fresh $70 million injection of cash, courtesy of 10 equity investors in Minnesota, California and elsewhere that are determined to commercialize a new back pain treatment, company officials have announced.

The funds — from Edina-based Vensana Capital and Menlo Park, Calif.-based Lightstone Ventures among others — will help Relievant commercialize a treatment for chronic back pain that involves destroying select nerve cells in the spine.

Other participants in the new financing round include Relievant's existing investors: Switzerland-based Endeavour Vision, Maryland-based New Enterprise Associates, Ohio-based Morgenthaler Ventures and California-based Canaan Partners.

The latest fundraising effort marks the first time Minnesota's Vensana Capital is joining the product-development effort. Vensana co-founder and managing partner Dr. Justin Klein, will join the Relievant board.

The 14-year-old Relievant is developing a new back pain treatment procedure called the Intracept Procedure. It received FDA approval four years ago but ongoing tests continue. The company just published a study outlining five years of patient-treatment data.

If successful, the new and minimally invasive surgical remedy may help 5 million Americans who suffer from a type of chronic low back pain that involves vertebral endplates and the transmission of pain along something called the basivertebral nerve.

Klein noted in a statement that the new procedure that addresses the nerve has the potential to transform treatment of chronic low back pain. "We believe Intracept is an outstanding example of medical technology innovation and is one that can also positively impact our country's ongoing opioid epidemic," he said.

Relievant moved from California to Minnesota two years ago after raising nearly $60 million toward the effort. It has since raised more than $200 million in equity financing to advance Intracept's commercial development. Officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In a statement last week, Relievant Medsystems CEO and President Art Taylor said the latest round of financing shows "a great vote of confidence in our team, product and mission to change the treatment paradigm for chronic low back pain." Taylor said he believes 2020 will be "a record year" for the firm's commercialization of its product.

"With the recent publication of our five-year data showing sustained improvements in pain and function, we expect even greater adoption in 2021 as more and more physicians make Intracept a core part of their chronic [back pain] patient care pathway," Taylor said. "We are delighted to have such strong financial support to fuel this rapid commercial growth and to make this much-needed treatment available to more patients and physicians."

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725