Xeltis said today it brought in an extra $3.2 million (EU €3 million) extension for its Series B financing round, bringing the total up to $32.4 million (€30 million) for its bioabsorbable cardiovascular valve platform.
Xeltis’ is designing a platform of bioabsorbable cardiovascular valves and vessels, starting with the pulmonary valve, designed to allow endogenous tissue restoration.
Funding from the round will allow Xeltis to broaden its focus from only pulmonary valves, CEO Laurent Grandidier told MassDevice.com in an interview.
“We have started to develop our 1st aortic valve using our technology. Having the specific pockets of finance to launch those products allows us to go faster and dedicate resources to more specific projects,” Grandidier said. “The reason we decided to extend the round of financing is because the company is doing so well, we decided to accelerate the development of our platform.”
Xeltis is looking to expand into the much-larger aortic market in the future, Grandidie said, as well as developing the platform for vascular indications. The company is currently running a project looking at bioabsorbable AV shunts for hemodialysis. Other vascular indications are being also explored, but it’s too early to discuss specifics, Grandidier said.
“There are several applications we can work from, several types of devices using our technology,” Grandidier said.
The accelerated development will aid Xeltis, which aims to reduce the limitations imposed by current prosthesis, mostly made from animal or cadaver tissue.
“As soon as you put something in your body that comes from foreign matter, you have a reaction to the foreign body and material. This creates a chronic inflammatory response that leads to patient complications. For example, the heart valve will start calcifying, or degenerating over time,” Grandidier said.
Xeltis’ platform of valves are being designed to allow the body to reabsorb the material in the valve and replace it with naturally regrown tissue over time. That leaves no foreign bodies or worries about calcification or degradation – or at least a longer period before they’ll need to be replaced, he said.
“At the end of the day, there will be no foreign material left in your body. Everything that will be there will be natural tissue, restored by your own body. Essentially, what we want is to reduce patient complications associated with the current technologies,” Grandidier said.
And as far as Grandidier knows, Xeltis is the only kid on the block developing a resorbable platform for cardio valves.
The company is focusing initially on a pulmonary valve, in which defects are generally seen from birth and are rarely caused by degenerative diseases. Often time, patients needing new pulmonary valves are children, he explained.
“Patients, these children, need to be operated on to get a new pulmonary valve,” Grandidier said. The standard, even at such a young age, is a valve made from animal or cadaver tissue, which require retreatments after several years.
“These are fairly hard surgeries – open heart surgeries, that are very difficult. Our vision is to either extend the duration between reoperations or totally eliminate the need for reoperations,” he said.
Grandidie said the company hopes to begin clinical trials of the valves within the next year, and while it’s too early to be sure, the company is aiming to bring a pulmonary valve to the market by the end of 2018.
With the company bringing in more than expected in the round, Grandidie said 2015 was wrapping up as an important year for the burgeoning medical device firm.
“In 2015 we have further strengthened our technology potential, our finances, our executive team and our board, and I am very honored by the business and public recognitions, which are beginning to establish a track record for our remarkable venture,” Grandider said in a press release.