Stentys completes $18 million financing for bifurcated stent production

31 March 2008

Paris-based Stentys has completed an $18 million ‘series B’ round of venture financing that will allow it to complete clinical trials and obtain EU clearance for its drug-eluting, bifurcated stent.

The lead investor was UK venture firm Scottish Equity Partners. Series A investor Sofinnova Partners also participated in the B round. Brian Kerr, one of the founding directors of Scottish Equity Partners and a Partner in the firm’s Healthcare Group, will join the Stentys Board of Directors.

Coronary artery disease, one of the leading causes of mortality in the world, is caused by fatty lesions that narrow the coronary artery and reduce blood flow, resulting in an often-lethal myocardial infarction (heart attack). Cardiologists have been using stents (small meshed metal tubes) to unclog the artery, but they are ill-suited to treat artery bifurcations, the area where one main vessel branches out into two smaller vessels. In fact, the procedure does not work in more than one patient out of five, and these patients must subsequently undergo a second intervention, and quite often open-chest surgery.

Narrowings at a bifurcation site are quite common. The patent-pending innovation of Stentys’ bifurcated stent is that the stent opening for the side branch can be created anywhere in the stent after it is implanted in the vessel. In short, the procedure’s success is independent from precise positioning at the bifurcation.

“Stentys has achieved a major breakthrough in terms of patient safety, ease of use for cardiologists, and clinical efficacy,” said Brian Kerr. “It has a high-calibre management team, and it has made rapid progress towards obtaining regulatory approval. There is a $1 billion-plus market opportunity for its product, and we are confident that the company will deliver significant value.”

“Stentys has come a long way in a short period of time,” concluded Jacques Séguin, MD, PhD, Co-Founder and Non-Executive President of Stentys as well as Founder, Chairman, and CEO of CoreValve. “The fact that two of Europe’s most successful venture capital firms are solidly behind the Company underscores not only the very significant potential of the Stentys bifurcated platform but also the Company’s swift success in validating proof of principle. As its dedicated bifurcation stent shows further efficacy and safety in the clinic, the market for the innovative Stentys devices will watch closely — because cardiologists now consider the current, standard stents as sub-optimal for bifurcations.”

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