Sorin commits $5M more to Israeli heart failure device startup, with option to buy

Sorin Group is committing $5-million-plus to an Israeli startup with an option to buy. The move continues the Italian cardiac device giant's quiet strategy of taking a stake in promising operations with a long-term goal of diversifying its product line.

Sorin said that after an initial investment in October 2011, it is pouring an additional $5 million into Enopace Biomedical, which is developing a neuromodulation device to treat heart failure patients. Separately, Sorin will also invest $5 million into Rainbow Medical, Enopace's Israeli owner, and launcher of med tech companies.

Enopace plans to use the money for development and clinical trials of its signature product, and Sorin will hover and consider buying the whole thing, likely when Enopace meets certain milestones.

"The Enopace investment is another important step in creating a significant long term growth platform in heart failure therapies," Sorin CEO André-Michel Ballester said in a statement.

Beyond that, however, Sorin has focused on diversifying its cardiac offerings in other ways. The company in recent months has invested in companies including Highlife SAS, a French percutaneous mitral valve replacement startup, and Cardiosolutions, a U.S. maker of less invasive devices and surgical tools designed for several heart conditions. And Sorin is pursuing growth in other markets, most recently with a Japanese regulatory win for its Mitroflow aortic pericardial heart valve.

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