Seroba Kernel Leads €4.0 Million Financing in Veryan

New financing to advance novel stent technology through clinical development
Dublin, Ireland — 11 March 2010: Seroba Kernel announced today that it led a €4.0 million ‘Series A’ equity financing in Veryan Holdings Limited (“Veryan”), a developer of novel stent technology. The other investors in the round were Imperial Innovations, Oxford Capital Partners Limited and NESTA. The funds will be employed to finance further development activities and a pivotal clinical trial, which has now commenced, designed to show the clinical benefit of Veryan’s unique Biomimics 3D™ stent technology. The company plans to file for CE Mark approval in 2011. As a part of the financing, Alan O’Connell, partner at Seroba Kernel, will join the Board of Directors.

Veryan employs a team of experienced medical device executives and engineers at its facility in Galway. The Veryan management team has an extensive track record in developing innovative cardiovascular medical technologies.

Veryan is targeting unmet needs in the $4 billion vascular stent market with more effective stent technology to improve clinical outcomes in occlusive vascular disease. The Biomimics 3D is a novel stent platform technology that imposes a 3-dimensional helical shape onto the stented vessel segment which generates physiological swirling flow and has been shown to significantly reduce restenosis in pre-clinical experiments. In addition to the reduction in restenosis, Veryan has also established that the 3D geometry confers significant mechanical benefits. The Biomimics 3D stents are more flexible, kink resistant and fracture resistant than traditional stents.

Veryan’s development work is currently targeted towards the peripheral vascular system, specifically the superficial femoral artery. The peripheral stent market is worth about $1 billion and is experiencing rapid growth as a result of new technology and expanding indications. Veryan is also developing a full range of 3D stents allowing entry into the total stent market (currently estimated in excess of $4bn).

Veryan’s First in Human and CE Mark study is ongoing at Herz Zentrum, Bad Krozingen, Germany. The Principal Investigator is Professor Thomas Zeller a recognized global leader in vascular medicine. As well as providing supporting data for achievement of CE Mark status, this study will evaluate the clinical performance attributes of the Veryan stent technology against a contemporary control and will include the assessment of a number of differentiating features of the BioMimics 3D stent.

Commenting on the announcement, Chas Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Veryan said: “The initial results of our first in human study are excellent and appear to confirm the attributes that we have seen in pre-clinical studies. We are excited by the potential that the Company has to significantly influence the future design of vascular stents and we believe that this technology will provide significant clinical benefit in the treatment of vascular disease. We are delighted to welcome Seroba Kernel to our list of investors and wish to acknowledge the continued support of our existing investors.”

Alan O’Connell, Partner at Seroba Kernel, added: “We were attracted by the commercial potential of the Veryan technology to address the significant clinical and market need for improved stent performance. The Veryan management team is top class and the company has a world class team of medical advisors. It’s a great example of the quality of med tech companies we have in Ireland.”

About Vascular Disease
The total market for vascular stents to treat occlusive vascular disease exceeds $4 billion p.a. It is a highly profitable and competitive environment with six large corporations and many smaller entrants competing for market share. The market is divided into two key segments, coronary stents ($3 billion) and peripheral stents ($1 billion), all the major competitors are active in both segments. Despite two decades of stent innovation since their introduction, two key failure modes remain as critical clinical problems. The first, restenosis is a physiological failure mode that arises as a result of a proliferation of tissue in response to arterial injury during stent implantation, this process affects the performance of all implanted stents. The second is a physical problem in arteries which have to accommodate the considerable compressive and bending forces that the implanted stent is subjected to by mechanical deformation. Existing stent designs do not perform well in these environments and this limits the performance of current stent technology.

About Seroba Kernel Life Sciences
Seroba Kernel is an Irish and UK based venture capital firm specialising in European life science investments. The firm is investing from the Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Fund II, one of a number of life science funds which the firm manages. Together with partner firm Kernel Capital, Seroba Kernel has funds under management totalling approximately EUR 200 million. Seroba Kernel invests in therapeutic, diagnostic and medical device companies that have the potential to change fundamentally medical care.

For more information contact:

Alan O’Connell
Seroba Kernel Life Sciences
15 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
T: +353 (0)1-6334028
E: alanoconnell@seroba-kernel.com

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