BioVentrix snatches up MateraCor for a hydrogel-based approach to heart failure

Before the FDA rules on its minimally invasive treatment for heart disease, BioVentrix is expanding its portfolio with the acquisition of another company looking to reshape a failing left ventricle.

For an undisclosed amount, the former Fierce 15 winner has bought up MateraCor, a California startup developing a hydrogel injection for strengthening the heart muscle wall.

MateraCor’s procedure aims to bulk up the heart wall with permanent implants of alginate-based hydrogel delivered through a minimally invasive catheter. This string of hydrogel beads forms a ring around the ventricle. The goal is to reduce strain on the muscle and help it contract more efficiently with each beat.

According to MateraCor, previous clinical trials, which placed the implants through open surgery, have shown improvements in six-minute walking tests and fitness exams. 

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Meanwhile, BioVentrix’s approach, the Revivent TC system, involves a complex transcatheter operation that embeds a series of anchors in the walls of a ventricle that has expanded following a heart attack or tissue damage.

An enlarged ventricle makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the rest of the body. To help return the heart to its previous form and function, BioVentrix’s anchors are strung together to stitch up excess scar tissue and bundle up the beating muscle. Revivent TC has received a CE mark for use in Europe as well as an FDA breakthrough designation.

“This is an exciting time for BioVentrix as we build a platform of synergistic therapies to treat a dilated left ventricle, the root cause of ischemic and idiopathic heart failure,” BioVentrix President and CEO Jim Dillon said in a statement. 

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BioVentrix also announced it brought on Steve Chartier to be its chief operating officer. Chartier will help guide the company’s regulatory strategy and clinical product development after most recently serving as vice president of global clinical affairs for liver-focused Sirtex Medical.