V-Wave’s left atrium repair technology is the latest boon for Israeli cardiotech startups as NJ-based Johnson & Johnson continues expanding its Silicon Wadi portfolio
V-Wave’s flagship technology is the Unidirectional Shunt System. It is designed to alleviate high left atrial pressure (LAP), a direct cause of congestive heart failure (HF). It is implanted transvenously (up the veins with a device that snakes into the heart’s left atrium). The porcine tissue of the shunt is situated to ensure blood flow only moves in one direction. The hope with this shunt is to reduce the number of patient rehospitalisations. V-Wave claims 30 patients have received their shunt thus far and that direct costs for treatment and economic impact of HF exceeds US$30 billion in the US alone.
“Clinical results to date, in more than 30 patients with follow-up averaging 11 months, are highly encouraging,” said Dr Frank Litvack, Pura Vida Partner and V-Wave’s Chairman of the Board.
Heart tech is hot in Israel
It kicks off the year on the right beat for Israeli cardiotech. HeartWare’s US$1 billion acquisition of heart valve company Valtech was a top story in 2015. Endospan, which produces transvenous technology for repairing the aortic arch, also raised another US$10 million in October.
It is the second announcement by JJDC in 24 hours, which led a US$15 million round for cartilage hyper-repair company CartiHeal. This might indicate a heightened interest by the health and pharmaceutical giant, which maintains research and venture partnerships in the small country, including with biomed accelerator FutuRx as part of its network of so-called “JLabs” with other affiliates in the US and Canada. A recent analysis in Nature credits Johnson & Johnson with successfully sourcing biopharmaceutical innovation outside its company for developing new drugs.
Other investors in the round included TriVentures, BioStar Ventures, Pura Vida Investments, and current investors Edwards Lifesciences, Pontifax, and BRM Group. BioStar focusses on medical devices and connected healthtech, while Pura Vida has a broader focus on all health technologies. BRM and Pontifax are both Israeli venture firms, while TriVentures maintains offices in the US and Israel with a focus on medtech.
V-Wave maintains its offices in Caesarea, Israel. The company is led by President Erez Rozenfeld and CEO Dr Neal Eigler. Johnson & Johnson maintains its global headquarters next to the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, NJ.
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