CorWave, a medical technology company that develops innovative mechanical circulatory support devices, has announced that it has completed a $17.1 million (€15.5M) Series B financing.
Existing shareholders including Sofinnova Partners, Bpifrance and Seventure were joined by two new investors: Novo Seeds, which led the round, and Ysios Capital. Emmanuelle Coutanceau from Novo Seeds and Josep Lluis Sanfeliu from Ysios will join the CorWave board of directors as well as cardiovascular industry veteran Michel Darnaud, who will serve as an independent director.
CorWave was incorporated by MD Start, a European medtech incubator, in 2011 and raised a Series A in 2013. Gérard Hascoët, who led the incubation phase and now serves as chairman of CorWave, said: “Since day one we saw an unparalleled match between this unique technology invented in France and the unmet needs in the heart failure space. Medtech expertise, engineering and funding was required to bridge the gap.”
Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death globally. Heart transplant is the most effective treatment for end-stage heart failure but is reserved for a minority of patients. LVADs are mechanical pumps implanted below the native heart that can restore blood flow to normal levels and correct the main symptoms associated with heart failure. LVADs can give 10 years of additional life to patients, but current technologies create a non-physiological flow and are associated with a high risk of serious adverse events. After two years of support, over 80% of patients will be affected by at least one debilitating complication caused by the pump itself, mainly stroke, bleeding and infection. CorWave has developed a disruptive pumping technology that mimics the native heart flow pattern and could overcome these limitations of rotary pump LVADs.
Louis de Lillers, CEO of CorWave, said: “Our R&D team led by Carl Botterbusch, an LVAD veteran, has done a fantastic job at de-risking CorWave’s technology. Clinicians and scientists in the field as well as our engineers are gathering increasing evidence indicating that our technology has the potential to improve dramatically the clinical outcomes of LVADs. With this funding in place, we now have the resources to prepare our pump for the first-in-man study and bring this paradigm-shifting technology into the hands of clinicians.”
Antoine Papiernik of Sofinnova Partners added: “We are excited to continue backing CorWave’s talented management team and are convinced that CorWave could be the next big thing in LVAD and, more broadly, chronic heart failure treatment.”
This fundraising has been closed despite increasing expectations from cardiac surgeons but only incremental innovations on massive investments from large medtech companies that have failed to improve significantly the clinical outcome of LVADs.
Emmanuelle Coutanceau from Novo Seeds said: “Our due diligences showed that CorWave is perfectly aligned with the expectations of cardiac surgeons and cardiologists alike. We are pleased to join CorWave in its effort to turn this vision into reality.”
Josep Lluis Sanfeliu of Ysios added: “The LVAD market has attracted medtech giants in past 18 months with the acquisition of Thoratec by St-Jude for $3.4 billion and HeartWare by Medtronic for $1.1 billion. It is to be one of the hottest sectors in medtech. With the potential to topple rotary pumps’ hegemony, CorWave has everything to become the next European medtech success story.”
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