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Endovalve Meets Early Milestones; Seeks $8 Million Series B Funding


2/26/2007 1:36:46 PM

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Endovalve, Inc., a cardiovascular device company developing the first percutaneous valve-replacement system to treat mitral regurgitation, has reached early milestones and is now actively raising $8 million in a Series B financing round that would fund the remainder of its preclinical development program.

“The company has successfully demonstrated feasibility of concept, has met required milestones and has performed under budget,” said Battelle Ventures General Partner Tracy Warren.

Warren explains that Battelle Ventures and its affiliate fund, Innovation Valley Partners, were responsible for spinning the company out of the University of Pennsylvania in spring 2006 with a $2.5-million investment. “We are committed to investing up to $3 million in the Series B round,” she said, noting that they do not plan to lead the round “We are actively seeking a lead investor that has deep experience taking medical devices to market.”

Battelle Ventures, Warren notes, has been acting as an incubator for the startup. She explained that Endovalve has been functioning as a virtual company, using the venture firm’s office as its operational headquarters. Battelle Ventures’ “entrepreneur in residence” Dr. Robert Wilkins was installed as company president and CEO, and the firm provided access to engineering and project management talent, through its relationship with Battelle Memorial Institute, from which Endovalve Vice President R&D Todd Tomba was recruited.

“While maintaining his position of vice president at Battelle’s Medical Device Solutions business unit,” said Warren, “Tomba oversees an outsourced group of some 20 highly trained and skilled engineers provided by Endovalve’s outsourcing product development partner Foster-Miller.”

Said Dr. Wilkins, “We have successfully completed the first stage of developing the Endovalve mitral valve replacement system, with critical performance criteria achieved with a 4x-scale functional model of the valve and anchor design.

“Now in the second stage of development,” Dr. Wilkins continued, “we are creating a to-scale functional model of the complete system and will demonstrate critical performance criteria via benchtop tests.

“New funding,” he said, “will allow us to fabricate preclinical prototype systems, and develop engineering and preclinical test protocols designed to demonstrate the safety and performance of the system. We expect to conduct preliminary preclinical studies by the end of the year.”

Dr. Wilkins also said that the company has established a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and has elected Kurt Dasse to its Board of Directors.

The SAB, Dr. Wilkins explained, “is composed of distinguished cardiologists and cardiac surgeons representing top institutions and is chaired by Dr. Howard Herrmann, who led the team that invented the new valve replacement system’s underlying technology at the University of Pennsylvania.” [Members’ names and affiliations are included below.]

SAB members, he continued, will be regularly informed about company progress, and that Endovalve “is eager to receive their highly informed and invaluable input on preclinical and clinical issues. Their involvement should help reduce programmatic risk and accelerate our time to market.”

Dasse, who currently heads Waltham, Mass.-based technology company Levitronix, LLC, “brings nearly three decades of invaluable experience to the Board,” said Dr. Wilkins. “His research in cardiovascular disorders and developing medical devices, including products for percutaneous and vascular access, makes him a great addition to the Endovalve team.”

Dr. Wilkins will be presenting at the Medtech Insight conference In3 West in Irvine, Calif., on February 28.

For more information about Endovalve, please visit www.endovalve.com.

Endovalve Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Howard Herrmann, Chairman

Director, Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory/Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Dr. Nicolas Chronos

Chief Medical and Scientific Officer

American Cardiovascular Research Institute

Saint Joseph’s Research Institute, Saint Joseph’s Hospital Atlanta

Dr. Joseph Gorman

Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Dr. Robert Gorman

Director and Associate Professor of Surgery, Cardiac Surgical Research Laboratory/ University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Ajit Yoganathan, Ph.D.

Regents’ Professor

Associate Chair for Research

The Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University

Contacts

For Endovalve, Inc. Rick Sacks, 973-467-8728 rick@smartpr.net

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