HighLife SAS, a medtech company focused on the development of a unique trans-catheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) system to treat patients suffering from mitral regurgitation, announced today the appointment of Dr. Martin T. Rothman as non-executive independent member of its Board of Directors.

Dr. Rothman retired recently from his position as Vice President of medical affairs for coronary, structural heart and renal denervation, for Medtronic, based in Santa Rosa (CA), a position he held since 2010. He was involved in the development of the renal denervation program, TAVR, and the Medtronic percutaneous mitral regurgitation program, including Twelve and development of its Intrepid TMVR product and associated clinical strategy.

Dr. Rothman trained as an interventional cardiologist in Bart Hospital Trust, UK. Then, as a world-renowned interventional cardiologist, he worked for the UK National Health Service for almost 40 years. He has been a leading investigator in research involving drug-eluting coronary stents and cardiac stem-cell treatment, and helped develop intravascular ultrasound technology. Dr. Rothman also currently holds several positions in start-up companies in the cardiovascular field, some as a founder and based on his own inventions.

“I am excited to join the HighLife team and a very experienced board and to contribute to the establishment of its unique percutaneously delivered mitral valve prosthesis which is self-locating and if necessary removable. This will be a major opportunity for a large number of patients,” said Dr. Rothman.

Based in Paris (France), HighLife was started in 2010 by Georg Börtlein, CEO and member of the Board. Following the recent investment in HighLife from Sofinnova Partners, Antoine Papiernik joined the company’s Board. Mano Iyer, founder and COO of the medtech start-up ReCor Medical, continues to serve as an independent member. In December 2017, Jose (Pepe) Calle Gordo, most recently CEO of Biosensors and with a long successful career in cardiovascular devices, was named Chairman.

“We are honored to have Martin Rothman join the company’s Board of Directors. It is a clear validation of the significant progress made with this technology as well as its future potential to address the unmet needs of patients with mitral regurgitation. His extensive medical background and unique track record in the interventional cardiology field will add tremendous value to our team and in combination with the rest of the Board of Directors, is creating a strong foundation which will lead to clinical and regulatory success,” said Mr Calle Gordo.

“I am delighted we could attract a Director with the talent and experience of Dr. Rothman. We will greatly benefit from his experience and strategic vision of structural heart along with his ability to build clinical strategies,” said Georg Börtlein.

The HighLife technology is best-in-class as it can be delivered transseptally via the femoral vein in a reversible manner, and as it self-locates inside the native annulus. The transseptal route is the preferred route for both interventionists and patients as it avoids any surgery.