CorWave snags $17M for novel membrane-based heart failure pump

Blood pump maker CorWave reeled in a €15.5 million ($17.1 million) Series B, which the French company will put toward a first-in-man study of its novel left ventricular assist device technology, which could be an alternative to currently available rotary blood pumps.

Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) are mechanical pumps implanted below the heart to restore blood flow and address other symptoms of heart failure. And while they can extend life by up to 10 years, these devices are linked to a high risk of serious adverse events, the company said in a statement.

Enter CorWave, which was incorporated by med tech incubator, MD Start, in 2011. It is developing a pump based on a wave membrane that will put less stress on the blood than a rotary pump does and could potentially cut down on complications caused by LVADs, which include stroke, bleeding and infection.

The CorWave LVAD comprises a disc wave membrane positioned between two adjacent surfaces, according to the statement. Instead of using spinning rotors to pump blood, the membrane oscillates like a loudspeaker, creating a wave on the surface of the membrane that then propels the blood through the space between the membrane and the surfaces.

“Clinicians and scientists in the field as well as our engineers are gathering increasing evidence indicating that our technology has the potential to improve dramatically the clinical outcomes of LVADs,” said CorWave CEO Louis de Lillers in the statement. “With this funding in place, we now have the resources to prepare our pump for the first-in-man study and bring this paradigm-shifting technology into the hands of clinicians.”

New investor Novo Seed led the round, while existing investors Sofinnova Partners, Bpifrance and Seventure also participated.