Sorin invests $20M in implantable respiratory device startup Respicardia

Sorin's remede System--Courtesy of Sorin

Cardiovascular device company Sorin Group ($SORN) has invested $20 million in Respicardia. The financing is to be used to fund ongoing clinical testing of the startup's remede System, which is a pacemaker-like device for central sleep apnea that delivers electrical pulses via an implantable lead to the phrenic nerve. The device is intended to restore a less disrupted breathing pattern.

The remede System received a CE mark in 2012 and is currently in a randomized, controlled pivotal trial aimed at securing FDA approval.

As part of the deal, the Milan, Italy-based Sorin also received the exclusive right to market the remede System for the next 5 years in select, undisclosed European countries. It expects to launch the product in the EU next year. In addition, Sorin also received an exclusive option to acquire the Minneapolis, MN-based Respicardia in the future.

Sorin expects that remede will be complementary to its cardiovascular devices, which includes cardiopulmonary surgical equipment and cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices.

"Together with our CRM devices and our neuromodulation platform that are under development, this investment further demonstrates our commitment to developing innovative solutions for heart failure patients," Sorin CEO André-Michel Ballester said in a statement.

Central sleep apnea is a kind of sleep-disordered breathing condition that more than 5 million patients suffer from worldwide; it adversely affects cardiovascular health and is a significant comorbidity for heart failure patients. More than one-third of heart failure patients suffer from CSA, which contributes to the exacerbation of heart failure symptoms and increases their risk of death, according to the company.

"We are delighted to have Sorin Group, a leading European cardiovascular medical device company, as our strategic partner given our complementary expertise and shared commitment to treating central sleep apnea a significant comorbidity for heart failure patients," Respicardia President and CEO Bonnie Labosky said in a statement.

- here is the release

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