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Houston-based medical technology company BiVACOR has raised $ 22 million in funding – in the form of a Series B cycle and federal grant – to propel development of its Total Artificial Heart device for the treatment severe heart failure.
In a May 19 press release, BiVACOR says it received a $ 19 million Series B and a $ 3 million National Institutes of Health grant. Boston-based Cormorant Asset Management and OneVentures in Australia, through its OneVentures Healthcare Fund III, led the round.
OneVentures first invested in BiVACOR three years ago. According to Australia Financial analysis, OneVentures initially injected $ 3 million (Australian dollars) into BiVACOR, with the potential to contribute up to $ 10 million if BiVACOR reaches certain milestones. BiVACOR received a round of seed funding from US investors in 2013.
“BiVACOR’s unique technology is supported by a remarkable team who have moved this technology a significant distance into the clinic,” said Paul Kelly, Managing Partner of OneVentures, in the BiVACOR press release.
The new money will support the preparation of the first human trials of the device. In the short term, the device can be implanted in a person awaiting a heart transplant. It is also designed to be a long-term alternative to a heart transplant.
The BiVACOR device, touted as the first long-term treatment for patients with severe heart failure, is an implantable artificial heart based on rotary blood pump technology. Similar in size to an adult fist, it is small enough to be implanted in many women and some children, while still being able to provide enough heart power to a man who is exercising. Unlike the two-chamber human heart, the BiVACOR device has only one chamber.
“The commitment and interest of our investors validates our technology and the need for improved options to treat end-stage biventricular heart failure,” said Daniel Timms, Founder and CEO of BiVACOR. “With this funding, we will be able to expand our world-class team and undertake… verification activities so that we can begin our first early human feasibility study in the near future.
Founded in 2008, BiVACOR has offices in Cerritos, California, and Brisbane, Australia. The company is affiliated with the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, where the world’s first artificial heart was implanted. BiVACOR’s corporate headquarters are located in the Texas Medical Center complex.
The company employs a dozen people and says the funding will allow it to hire 10 additional employees.
For 13 years, BiVACOR has been working on technology to eliminate the need for heart transplants. So far, the BiVACOR device has only been tested on cows.
“With heart failure, the heart becomes unable to pump enough blood to keep the body healthy and strong. At least 26 million people around the world are living with the disease, and that number is increasing as the population ages ”. IEEE spectrum reported in 2019. “Patients with severe heart failure have a bleak outlook: Their best option is a heart transplant, but the limited number of donor hearts means that only around 5,000 patients worldwide receive a transplant each year. transplants, and some die while waiting for a donor organ. “