HighLife SAS, an early-stage 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 closing of a €12.3 million investment round led by Sofinnova Partners which becomes the main investor in the company.
HighLife had previously secured financing from LivaNova PLC, which also participated in this financing round along with Georg Börtlein, the CEO and founder of HighLife.
HighLife (Paris, France) was started in 2010 by Georg Börtlein, who was previously a co-founder with Professor Jacques Séguin and Chief Operating Officer at CoreValve Inc., a pioneer in the development of transcatheter aortic valve implantation supported early on by Sofinnova Partners until the sale to Medtronic in 2009 for more than $700 million.
Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners comments: “We are excited to invest in HighLife and believe that their unique trans-septal approach is the next innovative disruption in transcatheter valve technologies.” Regarding the partnership, Papiernik replied, “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.”
“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,” said Georg Börtlein.
The HighLife technology relies on the initial placement of a ring component around the native mitral leaflets in a reversible manner. Once this first component’s position is confirmed, the bioprosthesis is delivered within minutes through the ring and finds its natural position inside the native annulus regardless of the access site. This approach allows for trans-septal access and delivery of the bioprosthesis after navigating up the femoral vein and reaching the native mitral valve via a puncture through the inter-atrial septum. Such route alleviates the need for a trans-apical puncture in the weakened heart muscle and is favored by physicians because further trauma to the patients is avoided.