Israeli startup Trisol Medical , a portfolio company of the Alon MedTech Ventures incubator in Yokne'am, which is developing an innovative heart valve implanted by catheterization, has completed a $2.7 financing round from US, Israeli, and Chinese investors.
The company recently graduated from the incubator, owned and managed by Dr. Shimon Eckhouse, an active investor in medical devices companies. Eckhouse founded medical esthetics company Syneron and managed it for most of its existence as an independent company, until it was sold to Apax Partners for $400 million. He was also the first investor and active chairperson in Ventor Medical Technologies. Ventor, which also developed an artificial valve implanted through catheterization, was sold to Medtronic for $325 million. Eckhouse now hopes to revolutionize this field.
Ventor developed a substitute for the aortic heart valve. The human heart has four valves. The aortic valve is the first of them to undergo this revolution, in which the valve can be repaired or replaced through catheterization. Like Israeli company PVT, Ventor was one of the first companies in this revolution.
The next target is the mitral valve. Many Israeli companies are also working on this problem, some of them founded by former employees of Ventor and PVT. The segment is quite competitive. Of the Israeli companies involved, Valtech Cardio has already been sold for $340 million (plus possible milestone payments), and Valcare Medical, Allium Medical Solutions Ltd. (TASE: ALMD), and others are only some of the competitors in this sector. There is currently only one product on the market, by Abbot Laboratories.
Trisol, however, is aiming at a third valve, the tricuspid valve. This valve is located between the right ventricle and the right atrium. This valve was recently described in one of the articles on the medical devices market as the "forgotten valve." Minimally invasive procedures for replacing it are being prepared, but there is no known device that can replace this valve. A number of mitral valve companies previously announced that they would consider extending the use of their mitral valve product to the tricuspid valve if and when their product reaches the market, but this is less significant than direct competition.
Trisol Medical said that this valve would constitute a breakthrough that could provide a solution for millions of patients worldwide suffering from substantial leaking (regurgitation) from the tricuspid valve who are unable to undergo open heart surgery because of their medical condition. The valve being developed has a unique structure designed to specifically fit the tricuspid valve's anatomy.
The company estimates the market for tricuspid valves implanted by catheterization at $6 billion, double the size of the market for aortic valves. In the past two years, Trisol has developed an advanced prototype of the valve and has successfully completed animal trials for it.
Trisol CEO Ron Davidson says, "There is no current medical solution for patients suffering from substantial tricuspid valve regurgitation. Trisol is developing a breakthrough valve designed to provide an optimal solution for regurgitation, while at the same time preserving the operation of the right heart ventricle."
Eckhouse adds, "Trisol was founded by Dr. Mordehay Vaturi, a senior cardiologist at Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson Hospital), in cooperation with Clalit Health Services and Alon MedTech Ventures, with support from the Israel Innovation Authority. It is an excellent example of cooperation between these entities for the creation of breakthrough medical technologies, based on the unique qualities of Israel in medical devices in general, and in cardiology in particular. Trisol's excellent progress since it was founded demonstrates the special capabilities of the company's executives and Alon MedTech's capabilities in supporting and aiding in the founding of medical device companies with the potential to become global leaders in their field."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 15, 2018
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