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HighLife Medical raises $14m for transcatheter mitral valve replacement

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HighLife MedicalHighLife Medical said today that it raised more than $14 million for the replacement heart valve it’s developing to treat mitral regurgitation.

Paris- and Irvine, Calif.-based HighLife said the €12.3 million round was led by European venture capital shop Soffinova Partners, joined by prior backers LivaNova (NSDQ:LIVN) and HighLife founder & CEO Georg Börtlein – who also co-founded CoreValve, the aortic valve replacement company acquired in 2009 by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) for $700 million.

HighLife’s transcatheter mitral valve replacement uses a ring around the diseased valve’s leaflets that’s designed to guide the replacement valve into position.  It’s designed to be delivered through the inter-atrial septum, rather than via a trans-apical approach involving a puncture in the heart muscle, the company said.

“This investment enables us to implement our aggressive development plan and move forward with both our ongoing clinical programs and our R&D pipeline. We are currently recruiting patients in several European countries including France and Germany and are now planning to accelerate the enrollment of this initial clinical phase,” Börtlein said in prepared remarks.

“We are excited to invest in HighLife and believe that their unique trans-septal approach is the next innovative disruption in transcatheter valve technologies,” added Soffinova managing partner Antoine Papiernik. “We are also happy to partner with Georg Börtlein for the second time and confident that HighLife’s technology represents the next-generation TMVR product needed to reach meaningful clinical adoption.”

($1 = €0.859444)

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