Medtronic Inc. today announced it has completed the acquisition of Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) awardee Visualase Inc. The TETF invested $750,000 in Visualase in 2007 for the development and marketing of a range of innovative minimally invasive neurosurgery products.
"Acquisitions like this are a prime example of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund's goal of fostering a climate that encourages research, development and commercialization of groundbreaking technologies in Texas," Gov. Perry said. "Visualase's technology has already changed countless patient lives, and this acquisition will help further the benefits of this therapy."
The Visualase system is used to destroy tissue that would otherwise be removed through invasive craniotomies, and has been used to treat more than 800 neurosurgical patients. Medtronic will add Visualase's MRI-guided laser ablation to its portfolio of therapies for treating neurological conditions and will integrate the technology into its broader neuroscience strategy.
"The TETF award was critical to ultimate success at Visualase, providing much needed funding to complete development of the technology and complete first clinical procedures and studies years before we were a viable candidate for venture funding," Visualase CEO William Hoffman said. "Our success would simply not have been possible without the TETF award, and we are thankful for it."
The TETF is a $485 million fund created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor's request, and reauthorized in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house.
To date, the TETF has allocated more than $205 million in funds to 145 early stage companies, and nearly $220 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities. Additionally, since the inception of the TETF, more than $2.2 billion in additional investment from other non-state sources has followed on to the TETF investment, more than quadrupling the amount invested by the TETF.