CardiacAssist secures $33m financing

Advent Venture Partners lead a group of investors who have faith in the medical device company's ability to help treat heart disease.

CardiacAssist Inc, a medical device company, has raised a $33m (E35.6m) second round of equity capital. Advent Venture Partners led the investment and other participants included New Medical Technologies, Credit Suisse Private Equity, Aventic Partners (a UBS Warburg affiliate), and other Swiss investors.

The capital will be used to support the sales and marketing of the company’s ventricular assist devices across Europe. The deal also enables CardiacAssist to fund clinical trials in the United States.

CardiacAssist has developed a ventricular assist device (VAD) technology platform for the treatment of cardiogenic shock by cardiologists. Until now, ventricular assist devices have been used exclusively by cardiac surgeons as a bridge to heart transplant because major surgery is required to insert and explant these devices. CardiacAssist has developed its implantable VAD to a new pump system that is external to the body. This allows the company to address the much larger cardiogenic shock market which it estimates to be worth $1bn. The product has already gained European regulatory approval.

Commenting on the advantages of the technology, Zafiris Zafirelis, president and chief executive of CardiacAssist, said: “With current VAD devices patients must undergo two highly invasive surgical procedures for device insertion and explantation. The costs associated with hospital training, products, surgical procedures, in-hospital convalescence and ongoing medical care can reach the high six-figures. Our products will enable cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to institute ventricular assistance quickly, less invasively and at a fraction of the cost of conventional VADs”.

The company received its first round of venture capital funding in 1996, the year it was founded. It has its headquarters in the US and has operations in Zurich.