HANGZHOU, China, March 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cardiac Valve Research Institute ("the Institute") - a joint project between Venus Medtech (Hangzhou) Inc. ("Venus Medtech") and the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine ("SAHZU") - has been officially launched in Wanlong Technological Park located in the Binjiang district of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province. The Institute is the first research entity that Venus Medtech established along with a hospital and, it will focus on minimally invasive treatment for heart diseases.
As a leading transcatheter cardiac valve developer, Venus Medtech finished first place in the Third National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition for its respective sector and successfully completed China's "Twelfth Five-Year Plan for Science & Technology Support" project, administered by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Venus Medtech is also among the first to be admitted to the "Innovative Medical Devices Special Approval Process", designated by the China Food and Drug Administration.
The Cardiac Valve Research Institute is among "Provincial Enterprise Institutes" for Zhejiang, which will help to promote the clinical application of advanced heart valves and structural heart disease treatment technologies.
Venus Medtech is proud of the fact that its technological progress has drawn support from various institutional investors. Following the investments from Qiming Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital China, and Dinova Venture Capital, leading global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has recently signed an investment agreement with Venus Medtech. The investment from Goldman Sachs will support Venus Medtech's R&D as well as commercialization of the company's cardiac valve products.
Deputy Secretary-General of Zhejiang province Meng Gang, Zhejiang Province Science and Technology Department Deputy Director General Yue Chong, and representatives from both the Binjiang district and Hangzhou municipal governments, as well as industry representatives companies attended the launch ceremony for the Institute and the signing ceremony with Goldman Sachs. Professor Wang Jian'an - President of SAHZU - was appointed as the Chairman of The Cardiac Valve Research Institute.
Venus Medtech and SAHZU Leading the R&D Effort of a Minimally Invasive Solution to Heart Diseases
As the first Chairman of The Cardiac Valve Institute, Professor Wang Jian'an said that transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR/TAVI) is a minimally invasive and low-risk procedure for patients with aortic valve disease. The procedure brings hope to patients with severe aortic stenosis, especially for patients who are not suited for surgical treatment.
According to Venus Medtech General Manager Zi Zhenjun, more than 200,000 TAVI procedures have been performed worldwide since the team led by Professor Alain Cribier conducted the world's first TAVI procedure in 2002 in Rouen, France. Martin Leon, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, said during TCT 2015 that the TAVR market is expected to surpass the coronary artery intervention market worldwide by 2025. More than 400 TAVR procedures have been performed in China since Dr. Ge Junbo from Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, completed China's first TAVR procedure in 2010. Venus Medtech's Venus A-Valve, with independent intellectual property rights, is the world's only transcatheter aortic valve solution meeting China Food and Drug Administration clinical requirement.
In addition to Venus A-Valve, Venus Medtech's transcatheter pulmonary artery valve, Venus P-Valve, has also entered clinical stage. Venus P-Valve is designed for interventional therapy for patients with severe pulmonary regurgitation following surgery to repair Tetralogy of Fallot. Enrollment of patients for a clinical trial is nearly completed. Over 40 clinical cases have been recorded in several countries including the UK, Ireland, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, serving as a testament to the device's outstanding clinical efficacy and international presence. Venus Medtech plans to start patient enrollment for a pending EU approval-oriented clinical research program in the first half of 2016.
Venus Medtech's many achievements also serve to demonstrate the success of Dinova Venture Capital's incubation model. (Zi Zhenjun also is the founder of Dinova's medical incubator.)
Goldman Sachs Positive on the Future of Minimally Invasive Therapy for Heart Diseases
Established in 1869, Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms around the world. The firm, headquartered in New York, operates across different regions with rich experience and strong competence in international operation.
A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs said that the firm chose to invest in Venus Medtech because of a number of factors, including a strong healthcare sector in China with significant growth potential, as well as Venus Medtech's outstanding management team, and the company's industry-leading technology and attractive business growth prospects.
Goldman Sachs plans to invest US$37 million to support Venus Medtech's R&D and promotional activities for their cardiac valve products.
Qiming Venture Partners managing partner Nisa Leung commented, "Venus Medtech is a leading developer of innovative cardiac valve products in China. We are confident about its industry advantages in technology and resources, and are convinced that under the leadership of its seasoned management team, Venus Medtech will become a leader in the R&D of cardiac intervention therapies in China and even around the world."
"With our long-term commitment to invest in Chinese innovative healthcare companies, Sequoia Capital China expects Venus Medtech to benefit from a wider range of Chinese cardiac patients by continuously developing new products and technologies as a leader in the field of cardiac valves, " stated Sequoia Capital China partner Kevin Chen.
"We have been paying attention to the development of Venus Medtech from the very beginning when the company's new cardiac valve products were still in the preclinical study phase. We are excited to be in a position to help Venus Medtech complete the financing just as the company is finishing the clinical trials of the new products and is getting ready to take them to market. At the same time, we are proud to witness every one of Venus Medtech's milestones as the firm continues to grow," said Liu Hao, CEO of Haoyue Capital, the exclusive financial advisor to Venus Medtech during the course of the fundraising.
"By integrating Venus Medtech's core technology with the clinical advantages of SAHZU and the capital support provided by several internationally renowned institutional investors, the cardiac valve institute is bound to be a success. Venus Medtech's Venus A-Valve and Venus P-Valve are expected to become the models in the field of minimally-invasive solutions to cardiovascular diseases. Driven by innovation and cross-sector collaborations with a medical institution and institutional investors, Venus Medtech has set a good example in the Chinese medical sector in terms of innovation," said an industry veteran.