Abingworth's Bet On Lombard: Best Of Both Worlds For VCs
As venture investing in medical devices continues to split between early- and late-stage deals, investors increasingly face a choice: early-stage deals, where valuations are low, but risk is high and timelines are generally long; and late-stage opportunities, where risk is lower and timelines shorter, but the valuations are much higher. What if you could find an opportunity with the timelines and risk profile of a late-stage deal, at the valuation of an early-stage deal? That's what investors at Abingworth believe they've found in Lombard Medical Technologies PLC, a company with a novel approach to endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
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SOVAmed, a technology spin-off from the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany, develops visualization and analysis tools that support vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists. SOVAmed's lead application, SOVA.evar, is designed to detect AAAs and evaluate clinically significant parameters more accurately and rapidly than existing technologies.
Despite notable advances in endovascular aortic aneurysm repair systems to prevent aneurysm rupture by stent-graft implantation, between 15-20% of patients eventually require secondary intervention to address endograft failures. Aptus Endosystems hopes to dramatically reduce the incidence of secondary intervention with its EVAR system: a low-profile modular endograft which uses novel stapling fixation that the company says approaches the durability of open surgery and makes minimally invasive AAA treatment an option for more patients, even those with challenging anatomy.
Altura Medical is developing a percutaneous, low-profile endovascular stent-graft for the treatment of AAAs designed to eliminate some of the major issues associated with conventional endograft procedure safety, efficacy and complexity. The company's plan is to provide a flexible, off-the-shelf, ultra-low profile device with an industry-first 12 French inside diameter. The Altura system may be placed routinely in the cath lab as an outpatient procedure, and in more difficult AAA anatomies that are usually referred for open surgery, including those patients with short necks or smaller, tortuous iliac arteries.