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Symetis AG Closes $25.8 Million Financing Led by Endeavour Vision and NBGI Ventures, Eric Milledge Appointed Chairman of the Board



10/7/2010 6:40:31 AM

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - October 07, 2010) - Symetis SA, a private Swiss company developing new transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) systems, announced today that it has raised CHF 25 million ($25.8 million) in a new financing round co-led by Endeavour Vision and NBGI Ventures. Existing investors Truffle Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Wellington Partners, Vinci Capital - Renaissance PME, Banexi Ventures and BiomedInvest also participated.

Symetis announced in September positive preliminary results from its first-in-man clinical study for its lead product Acurate TA™, a self-aligning, nitinol stented tissue heart valve. Acurate TA™ is designed for optimal trans-apical delivery, providing the physician with unmatched positioning tolerance and ease of use. In parallel, Symetis is conducting pre-clinical validation of Acurate TF™, a trans-femoral TAVI solution based on similar design principles, scheduled to enter clinical trials in 2011.

Damien Tappy, General Partner at Endeavour Vision, co-lead of this financing round, commented: "Through an extensive first-in-man study, Symetis has proven that its lead product is the easiest-to-position trans-apical heart valve to come. We are delighted to join the strong syndicate of investors in order to support both the market launch of this product and the clinical studies of its trans-femoral heart valve. The combination of such innovative products, very solid intellectual property as well as a team with an outstanding track record positions Symetis to become the leading next-generation TAVI company, a development that will benefit a huge number of patients."

John E. Milad, Investment Manager at NBGI Ventures, co-lead of the financing round, said: "We are delighted to support Symetis. The company's management team is world class and its innovative second-generation TAVI system has already been validated in a substantial first-in-man clinical study. Symetis has developed an exciting new approach for TAVI, which is poised to become the new standard of care for patients with life-threatening aortic stenosis who are not suitable for open-heart surgery."

Damien Tappy and John Milad will both join the Board of Directors. The company also announces today the appointment of Eric Milledge as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Eric Milledge is a former Johnson & Johnson Group Chairman. He was responsible for LifeScan and a member of the Medical Devices & Diagnostics Group Operating Committee.

Eric Milledge commented: "I am very excited to become part of the Symetis team. Our people are strongly committed to improving patient care and safety by offering simple and reliable solutions for heart valve replacement. With an outstanding team, strong financial backing and a very innovative product portfolio, I believe Symetis is very well positioned to target what is expected to be a $2 billion TAVI market."

Dr. Jacques R. Essinger, CEO of Symetis, added: "Acurate TA™ is on track to obtain CE market approval in 2011. This financing round gives us the means to commercially launch our first product, conduct Acurate TF™ clinical validation and initiate the US approval process. Furthermore, having Eric Milledge as Chairman of the Board gives Symetis a unique visibility in the corporate arena. I am thrilled to be working with him."

About Symetis
Symetis SA (www.symetis.com) is a private Swiss company developing innovative, minimally invasive heart valve replacement solutions. The company's lead product, Acurate TA™, based on proprietary geometry and delivery technology, is currently in clinical trials and is well positioned to target the estimated $2 billion TAVI market. Based in Lausanne, the company is financed by leading European venture capital firms, including Truffle Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Wellington Partners, Aravis Venture, Vinci Capital, Banexi Ventures, Endeavour Vision, NBGI Ventures and BiomedInvest.

About Endeavour Vision
Endeavour Vision combines a team of experienced venture capital professionals who have collectively invested in over 80 companies in 12 countries in both the Life Sciences and Information/Communication Technology sectors for the last 20 years. The firm invests in early stage companies which have the potential to become global leaders. Past Life Sciences investments by Endeavour Vision professionals include Actelion, Axovan (acquired by Actelion) and Endoart (acquired by Allergan). For more information, please visit www.endeavourvision.com.

About NBGI Ventures
NBGI Ventures, established in 2001, manages funds with over EUR 100 million in total commitments and focuses on leading investments in innovative medical technology companies. NBGI Ventures is based in London and considers investments across Europe and the U.S. Companies it has supported to date include Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics (USA), BoneSupport (Sweden), EOS imaging (France), Estech (USA), Forth Photonics (UK), Quanta Fluid Solutions (UK), Reverse Medical (USA), SuperSonic Imagine (France), Technolas/2010 Perfect Vision (Germany) and Upfront Chromatography (Denmark). NBGI Ventures is a division of NBGI Private Equity Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. For more information, please visit www.nbgiventures.com.


For further information, please contact:
Dr. Jacques R. Essinger
CEO
Symetis SA
Tel: +41 21 651 01 60
Email: Email Contact

U.S. Media:
Michelle L. Linn
Linnden Communications
Tel: 508-362-3087
Email: Email Contact


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