SOURCE: Stentys

January 04, 2007 09:00 ET

Stentys Receives 'Seed' Financing From Sofinnova Partners

Company Seeks to Position Its Second-Generation Dedicated Stent for Treatment of Blocked Coronary Artery Bifurcations as Simple and Effective as a Conventional Stenting Procedure

PARIS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 4, 2007 --

"Stentys' novel approach may satisfy a dire need in a billion-dollar
             Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner, Sofinnova Partners

Stentys ( announced today that it has received an undisclosed 'seed' round of financing from Sofinnova Partners. Stentys is developing a patented second-generation dedicated stent for treatment of blocked coronary artery bifurcations so that hundreds of thousands of patients might avoid open-chest surgery.

"Our mission is to make treatment of blocked coronary artery bifurcations as simple and effective as a conventional stenting procedure," said Stentys' CEO and co-founder, Gonzague Issenmann.

"The first-generation dedicated bifurcation stents may in some cases not be operator-friendly for interventional cardiologists," added Jacques Séguin, MD, PhD, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Stentys, who also is Chairman, CEO and founder of CoreValve. "This has an adverse effect on patient outcomes in many cases. On the other hand, Stentys' second-generation device makes treatment of a blocked coronary artery bifurcation as ordinary and straight forward as a standard stenting procedure."

Coronary artery disease is caused by fatty lesions that narrow the coronary artery's inside diameter (stenosis), consequently reducing the blood flow and depriving the heart muscle of oxygen. The dramatic consequence of this blockage is an often-lethal myocardial infarction. Bifurcation is the area where one main vessel branches out into two smaller vessels, one being the continuation of the main vessel, and the other often referred to as the side branch. Narrowings at a bifurcation site are quite common. Indeed, 18 percent of percutaneous coronary interventions involve a bifurcation stenosis. Of those, restenosis (re-occurrence of the blockage) occurs in 20-25 percent of bifurcations treated with drug-eluting stents (DES).

"It is well known that standard stents are simply ill-suited to treat bifurcations," said Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner, Sofinnova Partners. "In fact, the procedure does not work in more than one patient out of five. Sadly, these patients must then undergo another intervention, which is usually open-chest surgery. First-generation dedicated bifurcation stents, unfortunately, are difficult to use. The approach of most companies is to have a side port of the bifurcated stent that must be aligned precisely with the side branch, achieved through a protracted and intricate procedure. No doubt, this is a very serious issue, since the intended benefit depends solely on an impeccable three-dimensional placement of the stent and its lateral opening."

The patented innovation of Stentys' bifurcated stent is that the stent-opening for the side branch can be created anywhere in the stent after it is implanted in the vessel. In short, the procedure's success is independent from accurate positioning. The Stentys procedure is performed in three simple steps: (1) Stentys is implanted in the main vessel with an approximate positioning, like a standard stent; (2) the cardiologist chooses the optimal location for the side branch opening by inserting a balloon through the stent mesh, which is a cath lab-standard procedure; and, (3) the balloon inflation disconnects the mesh and creates the opening -- Stentys' self-expanding property allows the in situ modeling of the stent to fit the patient's unique arterial anatomy.

"The Stentys approach is very operator-friendly," continued Mr. Papiernik, "since it is independent from stent-positioning. It permits an anatomical reconstruction of the bifurcation site and still provides full access to the side branch, thereby potentially satisfying a dire need in a billion-dollar market."

About Sofinnova Partners

Founded in Paris in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is one of Europe's leading independent venture capital firms. With EUR 900 million under management, Sofinnova Partners invests in start-ups and early-stage companies in information technology and life sciences. Its investment strategy consists of investing early in teams and projects with high potential, most often acting as lead or co-lead investor. Sofinnova Partners also benefits from a long-established relationship with its sister company in San Francisco, Sofinnova ventures. Sofinnova Partners' team consists of 10 professionals who bring market insight and technical expertise to portfolio companies.

Contact Information

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