Israeli startup V-Wave has completed a $28 million fund raising round. The round was led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC Inc. Other participants were TriVentures, Pura Vida and BioStar Ventures. Eli and Nir Barkat's BRM fund, Pontifax and Edwards Lifesciences, which were already shareholders in V-Wave, also participated.
V-Wave says the funds will support clinical evaluation and development, addition of senior management and manufacturing scale-up of V-Wave's proprietary minimally invasive device for use in patients with chronic symptomatic heart failure (HF). The shunt is intended to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, and to reduce the need for acute hospitalization due to worsening episodes of HF in patients who become symptomatic at minimal levels of activity.
Each year there are more than one million hospitalizations with acutely worsening HF in the US alone. Direct costs of HF exceed $30 billion, most of which goes for in-patient care. The number of patients with HF is expected to double during the next two decades as baby boomers age and develop heart disease.
As an implanted product, V-Wave's device has a complicated regulatory path, and so the first implant in a human being that the company announced in April 2014, by Prof. Ran Kornowski, director of the Cardiology Department at Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, was an important milestone for it. The company says that, to date, more than thirty patients have been successfully treated.
V-Wave was founded by Yaacov Nitzan, Dr. Gad Keren, and Dr. Ascher Shmulewitz. It raised $7.5 million from Edwards Lifesciences (which is where Nitzan came from), BRM, and Pontifax, and Shmulewitz also invested.
V-Wave CEO Dr. Neal Eigler said, "With the backing of our new and prior investors, we can now accelerate development and clinical evaluation of a new therapy applicable for a large segment of HF patients who need additional treatment options. Together with company President Erez Rozenfeld, we are building a team with the potential to make V-Wave's unidirectional shunt achieve the data and milestones needed for regulatory approvals and commercialization in the U.S. and around the world."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 12, 2016
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