CroíValve, a medtech start-up providing a safe and effective treatment for tricuspid regurgitation, today announces that it has secured €3.2 million in an oversubscribed seed financing round. The round was led by the HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network) MedTech and Irrus Syndicates, alongside Atlantic Bridge University Fund, Enterprise Ireland, SOSV and a group of cardiologists who see the treatment’s transformative potential. The funding will support the continued development of CroíValve’s innovative technology.
CroíValve, a spinout from the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, has developed a minimally invasive treatment for tricuspid regurgitation (TR). The heart condition occurs when the leaflets or cusps of the tricuspid valve – the valve separating the heart’s right ventricle and right atrium – fail to close properly due to dilation of the right heart, allowing blood to leak backwards into the right atrium. This causes further expansion, and eventually failure, of the right side of the heart. It is a severe cardiac disease with progressive symptoms including fatigue, fluid retention leading to abdominal and ankle swelling, liver and kidney failure, and death.
As the vast majority of patients are elderly and too frail for open-heart surgery, the only option available to them is medication that removes the excess fluid but does not cure the condition. CroíValve’s innovative technology specifically addresses the challenges associated with tricuspid heart valve disease. The device is delivered through the heart’s blood vessels and seals the gap between the native valve leaflets, therefore restoring the heart’s function and preventing regurgitation. The device is held in place with a unique anchoring system that removes the need for potentially traumatic anchoring into the right heart. The procedure is safe, simple and effective. With over half-a-million new cases annually in the US and EU alone, it is a significant unmet need and market opportunity.
Dr Lucy O’Keeffe, CEO, CroíValve, said: “To date, all treatment options are either too invasive or merely symptom management. CroíValve was established from a desire to bring a new, safe treatment option that can change and save lives.
“We welcome the investors’ support in accelerating our development efforts and look forward to
working together to bring this exciting technology to patients. In doing so we are currently building our team, particularly in the area of R&D, and by year-end 2019 we will have grown to a company of 10. As part of this expansion, we are delighted to welcome Dr Ivan Vesely as our CTO, and the extensive knowledge that he brings. Additionally, we have established a great board, with Bernard Collins, one of our investors from the HBAN MedTech syndicate, bringing vast experience as chairman.”
Dr. Martin Quinn, CMO, CroíValve, said: “The CroíValve technology will revolutionise the treatment of patients with severe tricuspid incompetence. It is extremely easy and safe to use and can be implanted without the need for general anaesthesia.”
The funding round was led by 48 angel investors from HBAN, the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, and an initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland. It is the largest ever number of HBAN members to contribute to one funding round and together they invested €1.5M in the company.
Bernard Collins, CroíValve Chairm an and HBAN MedTech Syndicate member, said: “As angel investors, we are not just providing capital to CroíValve, but also knowledge of, and contacts within, the medtech sector. This will help to open doors for CroíValve and enable the company to scale and commercialise its device. As chairman and an investor, I am extremely excited to be involved in this game-changing company dedicated to transforming the way tricuspid regurgitation is treated.”
“On behalf of Atlantic Bridge, I am pleased to welcome Trinity spin-out CroiValve to the University Bridge Fund portfolio and am also delighted to join the Board of the Company. We believe the CroiValve team has developed a truly novel device that represents a disruptive approach to the treatment of tricuspid valve regurgitation and is an excellent example of the commercialisation of ground-breaking Irish research.” said Helen Ryan, Senior Advisor, Atlantic Bridge.
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