Apica Cardiovascular sold to Thoratec for $75m.

3rd July 2014, Dublin Ireland. Seroba Kernel Life Sciences, a European life science venture capital company based in Dublin, is pleased to announce the sale of its investee company, Apica Cardiovascular, to Thoratec Corporation (NASDAQ: THOR) for $75m.

Apica has developed an innovative transapical access and closure system that can simplify and standardize the technique used to open and close the apex of a beating heart, in order to deliver large therapeutic devices into the inner chambers of the beating-heart in a minimally invasive manner.

Apica Inc. was founded in November, 2009 by Ajit P. Yoganathan, PhD, Jorge H. Jimenez, PhD, Vinod H. Thourani, MD, and James L. Greene who are accomplished engineers, entrepreneurs and cardiovascular surgeons with over 80 collective years of medical device development and testing experience.

Apica’s technology began life at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. In 2010, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences led a Series A financing of the company, which was also supported by Enterprise Ireland, and Apica moved to the Innovation Centre at Galway NUI where it developed its product range. Apica products enable the delivery of aortic and mitral heart valves via the transapical route (TAVI) and the implantation of heart pumps (LVADs) for patients with advance heart failure.

The market for LVADs is currently worth c. $1bn, and whilst growing fast, it is currently limited to very high risk patients. Seroba Kernel recognised that by radically improving the safety of the procedure, by shortening procedure time and by minimising blood loss, the Apica technology could substantially increase the size of the treatable population.

Thoratec Corporation (NASDAQ: THOR), a world leader in device-based mechanical circulatory support therapies for failing hearts, has now acquired Apica Cardiovascular Limited for an upfront cash payment of $35million and potential future clinical and sales milestones of up to $40 million. The Apica team will be retained in full at the Innovation Centre at NUI Galway and it is likely that further development and investment in the product will increase employment there over time.

Founder and CEO of Apica Cardiovascular, James L. Greene, who hails from ‘New Jersey’ in the U.S. has over 20 years of experience in the medical device industry. Speaking about the sale of Apica to Thoratec, he said, “we are delighted with the partnership formed by this transaction and look forward to continuing to develop current & future technologies which meet the clinical needs of the physicians we serve and their patients.”

Commenting on the deal, Dr Daniel O’Mahony, a partner in Seroba Kernel, said “We are delighted with the successful outcome of the investment in Apica. It validates our model of taking leading-edge technologies from the USA, where there is a shortage of finance, and implanting them in Ireland whilst retaining links to the US innovators and clinicians. It also reinforces Galway’s position as a world-class hub for medtech development.

ENDS .

For further information, please contact: Vicky La Touche-Price, Seroba Kernel, tel.: +35316334028.

About Seroba Kernel Life Sciences.
Seroba Kernel Life Sciences is a European life sciences venture capital firm which invests in breakthrough healthcare technologies that promise to improve lives and make a difference worldwide. Headquartered in Ireland, it works with some of Europe’s best entrepreneurs developing innovative medical devices, diagnostics and therapeutic drugs. For more information, visit www.seroba-kernel.com

About Apica Cardiovascular:
Apica Cardiovascular is a medical device company based in Galway, Ireland and developing proprietary “access and closure” technologies which enable the delivery of large therapeutic devices in the rapidly emerging transcatheter aortic valve intervention (TAVI), left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and minimally invasive mitral valve repair markets.

Apica Inc. was founded in November, 2009 by Ajit P. Yoganathan, PhD, Jorge H. Jimenez, PhD, Vinod H. Thourani, MD, and James L. Greene who are accomplished engineers, entrepreneurs and cardiovascular surgeons with over 80 collective years of medical device development and testing experience. Apica’s technology was developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. through initial grant funding provided by the Wallace Coulter Foundation and the Georgia Research Alliance as a “Venture Lab” company.

In 2010, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences led a Series A financing of the company and it moved to the Innovation Centre at Galway NUI where it developed its product range. In July 2014, Apica Cardiovascular was acquired by Thoratec Corporation. For more information, visit the website http://www.apica.ie.

About Thoratec Corporation
Thoratec is a world leader in therapies to address advanced-stage heart failure. The company’s products include the HeartMate II and HeartMate III LVAS (Left Ventricular Assist Systems) and Thoratec® VAD (Ventricular Assist Device) with more than 20,000 devices implanted in patients suffering from heart failure. Thoratec also manufactures and distributes the CentriMag® and PediMag®/PediVAS® product lines. Thoratec is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.thoratec.com.

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