Nyxoah, a Belgian-Israeli start-up that developed an ultra-small device to treat sleep apnea and snoring, announced that it raised €8m in the first stage of a €23m round of financing.

The company had already raised €10.2m from private investors and governmental incentives from the Walloon Region before the current round of financing.

Current shareholders and a large number of private investors participated in this round of financing, intended to fund the company’s next clinical study, which will include dozens of patients at several first-class European medical centers. In the study, the company will evaluate the performance of the second generation of its product.

Frost & Sullivan announced that Nyxoah is the recipient of its New Product Innovation Leadership Award for the Year 2014. Among the reasons for conferring the award, Frost & Sullivan stated that the technology and the resulting product developed are testaments to Nyxoah’s quest for a user-friendly device with minimal inconvenience to the patient.

The consulting firm also stated that the Nyxoah’s unique neuromodulator is extremely small and effectively provides relief to sleep apnea patients.

Nyxoah ultra-small and flexible implant uses an electrical current to stimulate the nerves of the tongue in order to prevent obstruction of the airway. The implant is inserted under the patient’s chin in a brief procedure which is then activated by a disposable battery patch. The implant then causes a slight motion of the tongue, thus preventing obstruction to the airway during sleep.

Nyxoah co-founder and CEO Dr Adi Mashiach said that the ability to stimulate the tongue muscle throughout the night using a disposable patch is a significant innovation.

"Our investors’ faith in the company is the engine that drives us to make the technological breakthroughs that establish the company as a market leader," Dr Mashiach added.