January 18, 2019
HighLife announced today it had closed a €32 million round of equity financing. HighLife is a medtech company focused on the development of a unique transcatheter mitral valve replacement (“TMVR”) system to treat patients suffering from mitral regurgitation.
HighLife said the proceeds from the financing will be used to complete the development of the company’s transcatheter transseptal mitral valve implantation program, which includes regulatory approval trials in Europe to obtain the CE mark and a first clinical trial in the U.S. via an Early Feasibility Study (EFS).
The Series B round was co-led by U.S. Venture Partners (“USVP”) and Andera Partners, with Sectoral Asset Management and Jose Calle Gordo, Chairman of the company, joining the round. Sofinnova Partners, which led the Series A round, continues to support the company and participated in this latest round of financing. Bryan Garnier & Co (Paris) acted as private placement agent for this financing.
“I am very pleased to announce the closing of the Series B financing round, which is essential to funding the development program of the company. The funds will support our mid-term strategy with a pivotal trial in Europe and a clinical trial in the U.S.,” said Georg Börtlein, HighLife’s CEO and Founder. “We remain committed to bringing the best treatment option for the broadest patient population to market. Over the long term, we want to address any limitation that the field of TMVR faces and we will continue working towards that goal.”
Based in Paris, France, HighLife was founded in 2010 by Mr. Börtlein. Following Sofinnova Partners’ investment in HighLife in 2017, the venture capital firm’s Managing Partner Antoine Papiernik joined HighLife’s Board. In December 2017, Mr. Calle Gordo, most recently CEO of Biosensors and a longtime specialist in cardiovascular devices, was named chairman. In May 2018, Dr. Martin Rothman, interventional cardiologist and retired Chief Medical Officer of Medtronic, joined as CMO and member of the board. USVP will be represented on the board by Casey Tansey, while Andera Partners will be represented by Olivier Litzka.
“HighLife’s creative approach has already generated convincing data in this competitive field of mitral valve replacement. I am confident that the experienced management team will bring this technology to the level where it becomes an undisputed treatment option for mitral valve regurgitation patients,” said Mr. Tansey, General Partner at USVP.
“With our already solid experience in the structural heart field, we are very happy to contribute to and support HighLife. The exceptional level of collective experience brought together with the existing team and the new investors is a favorable omen for HighLife’s success,” said Mr. Litzka, partner at Andera Partners.
“Sofinnova is thrilled to continue supporting HighLife through this new financing, which gives the company the means to demonstrate the clinical importance of its transseptal product,” said Mr. Papiernik.
“We are very proud that we could attract highly experienced and internationally recognized investors like USVP, Andera and Sectoral Asset Management. This speaks for the credibility of our development program, management team and the potential of our technology to serve a major yet underserved clinical need,” said Mr. Calle Gordo.
HighLife’s technology targets optimal treatment outcomes as it can be delivered transseptally via the femoral vein in a reversible manner, and self-locates inside the native annulus. The transseptal route is the preferred route for both interventionists and patients, as it avoids any surgery.