Xeltis has raised a €45M Series C to boost the development of its pioneering medical device, RestoreX, which helps to replace damaged heart valves.
Xeltis, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is a clinical-stage medical device company developing heart valves and blood vessels to allow the body to naturally restore heart valve function. The biotech has achieved a €45M Series C – the biggest for a private medical devices company in 2017. Support came from investors including leading Spanish VC, Ysios, and it will accelerate the device’s development and its route to the market.
At the moment, an estimated 2% of people in industrialized countries suffer from heart valve disease, with 100,000s of patients requiring surgery each year. Unfortunately, current treatments use artificial valves, which often need to be replaced and may require the long-term use of drugs that cause nasty side effects. Xeltis’ cardiovascular implants could improve the lives of patients and reduce costs for healthcare systems.
Xeltis’ platform – called RestoreX – supports the natural replacement of valves through endogenous tissue restoration. RestoreX provides a template for the body, which produces new tissue that spreads throughout the structure, giving rise to a natural and fully functional valve. Xeltis’ implant integrates into the body and is replaced by tissue thanks to a bioabsorbable polymer based on Nobel Prize-winning science.
Xeltis has seen promising preclinical results with good hemodynamic performance and fully functional valves 12 months after implantation, and a number of big pharma, biotechs and academic institutions are also working on ways to heal broken hearts around the world.
Carmat has gone one step further than Xeltis by developing a whole artificial heart and hopes to obtain a CE mark following a study in 20-25 patients. AstraZeneca and Moderna are co-developing a mRNA drug to encode a protein hormone, while Heptares and the University of Cambridge will investigate the apelin receptor, a new target for cardiovascular diseases. In addition, Celyad has been trying to exploit the regenerative capacity of stem cells with its candidate, C-Cure, for heart failure.
Like many others in the cardiovascular field, Xeltis’ technology remains at a very early stage, but we can feel positive following its good preclinical results. A major advantage that Xeltis’ technology holds over previous efforts to regenerate the heart is that it does not require stem cells, which can have practical and ethical issues.
Media – Sofiia Balitckaia / shutterstock.com; Xeltis