Sources inform "Globes" that Mvalve, which is developing a solution for a leak in the mitral heart valve, has obtained a $15 million loan from BSC International Holdings, a member of the Boston Scientific group. The loan is convertible into shares. The sources added that BSC had obtained an option to acquire Mvalve for $200 million.
Maurice Buchbinder, who discovered the technology, founded Mvalve in 2012 together with CEO Assif Stoffman. Stoffman is a partner in the XT Investments fund (formerly Ofer High Tech), the Ofer Brothers high tech investment fund. According to the IVC funds database, the fund is also the sole investor in Mvalve. XT Investments has made few new investments in recent years, with the investment in Mvalve being an exception. On the other hand, the fund has lately sold some investments, holding shares in Nasdaq listed companies Lumenis Ltd. (Nasdaq: LMNS) and Enzymotec Ltd. (Nasdaq: ENZY).
Mvalve operates without publicity; the company has no website. Other than general information about its business in treating mitral heart valve leaks, it is not disclosing its technology. According to the patents registered by the company, it is developing a device aimed at supporting the activity of the existing valve, not replacing it.
A heart valve leak is usually related to wear caused by age, a genetic defect, or a bacterial infection. Such a leak is life-threatening, and can have a severe effect on the patient's quality of life. Until several years ago, open heart surgery was the sole option for treating a leaky valve. Methods of replacing one of the heart valves the aortic valve through catheterization have been developed in recent years by Israel companies PVT and Ventor, among others. These companies were acquired at high prices.
The next idea is replacement of the mitral valve through catheterization. This market is expected to be much larger, but the task is more complicated. Owing to the great know-how accumulated in Israel in the heart valve field, many companies are currently active in this field in Israel, including Valtech Cardio, in which the Peregrine Ventures and Partech Ventures funds have invested; Valcare, in which Accelmed, owned by Moshe (Mori) Arkin and Uri Geiger, has invested; Mitrassist of the Trendlines group; and Neo Vasc Development, listed in Canada, in which outgoing Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) chairman Phillip Frost has invested.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 6, 2014
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