NEA moves into Israeli medtech with backing of mini heart pump maker Magenta Medical

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Magenta's transcatheter LVAD is designed to serve as a bridge to transplant or recovery for patients with cardiogenic shock by easing the workload of the heart muscles. (Tiia Monto/CC BY-SA 3.0)

New Enterprise Associates is making its first venture capital investment in Israel’s medtech scene, starting with the developer of a miniaturized blood pump for patients with acute heart failure.

NEA led a financing round for Magenta Medical, based in Kadima, though the total amount raised by the company was not disclosed. Magenta’s previous backers also participated, including Pitango Venture Capital, JVC Investment Partners and other individual investors.

The funding will support two products currently under development, with the goal of an eventual FDA approval—one being a catheter-mounted left ventricular assist device, commonly known as an LVAD, that's small enough to be delivered to the heart percutaneously instead of through open surgery. 

It’s designed to serve as a bridge to transplant or recovery for patients admitted with cardiogenic shock, easing the workload of the heart muscles as they try to pump blood to the rest of the body. 

“We believe that there has never been a more critical time to develop technologies that bring real and sustained benefits to patients suffering from heart failure,” Magenta CEO David Israeli said in a statement. “We have great aspirations for our technology and know that the depth of knowledge and resources around the table, led by NEA and Pitango, puts us on a path to achieve great success in the coming years.”

Magenta’s second project focuses on the kidneys and helps correct salt and fluid imbalances stemming from decompensated heart failure. Its transcatheter renal venous decongestion system aims to reduces pressure within the veins and mechanically unload the kidneys to improve organ function. 

“Magenta Medical is developing a very unique and potentially disruptive technology that should greatly advance the field of mechanical circulatory support,” said NEA principal Tak Cheung, who joined the company’s board of directors. “We are thrilled to partner with the Magenta team to build a highly effective and valuable enterprise.”

Magenta previously raised $15 million through a series B round in 2017 led by Abiomed, developer of the Impella transcatheter heart pump, with participation from Pitango and the Japan-based VC firm JAFCO Co., Ltd.

The company was founded in 2012 by Ehud Schwammenthal and Yosi Tuval, who previously set up a company to develop minimally invasive aortic valve replacements, Ventor Technologies, which was acquired by Medtronic for $325 million in 2009.