Biomedical Translation Fund invests in further development of total artificial heart device
OneVentures Healthcare Fund III invests in BiVACOR
OneVentures, a venture capital firm focused on investment in high growth, transformative technology and healthcare companies, is pleased to announce that its OneVentures Healthcare Fund III (the Fund) has invested in BiVACOR Pty Ltd, a medical technology company developing the Total Artificial Heart (TAH) device that has the potential to replace heart transplantation procedures in the future.
The Fund is dedicated solely to supporting the commercialisation of Australian biomedical innovation and was established as part of the Federal Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund initiative. The Fund was awarded $85m from the Federal Government which was matched by OneVentures’ investors.
Founder and CEO of BiVACOR, Dr Daniel Timms, commenced development of the TAH as a PhD candidate at The Queensland University of Technology. In 2008, BiVACOR completed early stage device engineering and prototype development in Queensland and in 2013, secured seed funding from US investors. The OneVentures investment will fund the development of the external TAH controller in Australia.
In 2013, BiVACOR also established a relationship with the Texas Heart Institute collaborating with world leaders in the field including Dr Oscar Frazier and Dr Willian E. (Billy) Cohn, who have conducted over 1,700 heart transplants. The Texas Heart Institute has been working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other US bodies, including the FDA, since the early 1970s to develop a total artificial heart that would ultimately replace heart transplantation. Dr Frazier believes that BiVACOR’s device has the potential to be this device.
BiVACOR’s patent protected device targets the estimated $1.2B cardiac failure market that is currently addressed by heart transplantation and other devices. OneVentures is delighted to make this investment in BiVACOR, fulfilling the vision the Federal Government had for the Biomedical Translation Fund of supporting companies with cutting-edge technologies that have achieved proof of concept.
“The BiVACOR TAH has the potential to revolutionise the field of heart transplantation by providing hope for the over 20 million individuals worldwide affected by heart failure who do not have access to organ donation,” said Dr Paul Kelly, Managing Partner of OneVentures, and head of the Healthcare team.
“The OneVentures investment will not only significantly propel this important technology towards clinical trials, it will also create jobs and expand expertise in Australia.”
Heart failure is a devastating disease affecting over 20 million patients worldwide, with 6.5 million of these cases in the US. Every year, 960,000 new cases arise in the US alone while only 4,200 heart transplants take place globally each year due to a shortage of donors. The cost of heart failure is forecasted to reach US$70B per annum by 2030.
"BiVACOR is excited to have secured the support of OneVentures and the BTF to allow the Company to continue to advance its TAH by working with world class teams in both the US and Australia," said BiVACOR CEO Dr Timms.
Queensland Minister for Innovation Kate Jones has welcomed One Ventures’ investment in BiVACOR. “BiVACOR is a game-changing innovation, promising a lifeline to people suffering from heart failure but unable to receive a donor heart,” Ms Jones said.
“The Palaszczuk Government recognised this project’s potential to save lives and has awarded BiVACOR with $250,000 through the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund.”
The OneVentures Healthcare Fund III will play an active role in supporting BiVACOR to become a world leader in the medical devices industry.
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OneVentures is one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms, with over $320M in funds under management. But we do more than invest. We take companies to that all important next stage, by actively shaping their future. We apply our years of international experience, operational and executional expertise to accelerate the growth of our portfolio companies.
A global growth focus drives our investment selection with our current portfolio including companies with truly innovative products tackling multi-billion-dollar problems, from needle-free vaccinations to virtual communications to adaptive e-learning.
In December 2016 OneVentures launched its $170M Healthcare Fund III, a licensee of the Australian Government Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF*). This Fund invests in therapeutics, devices and diagnostics at or near clinical development with a clear commercial, regulatory and reimbursement pathway; and well-defined value inflection and exit points on deal entry.
The Fund will invest $10 to $20 million per company in Australian domiciled companies. The OneVentures team will provide support to drive these opportunities through the clinical, regulatory and reimbursement processes to achieve prominence in global markets.
The BTF programme was established by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide a pool of public and private funds for investment in promising biomedical innovations with commercialisation potential, managed by leading Australian venture firms. OneVentures was granted an $85 million license supported by matching capital from its private investor network, as one of three licenced venture capital fund managers. Announced in the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the BTF program will deliver long term national health and economic outcomes.
BiVACOR Pty Ltd was established as an Australian company in 2008 with its primary focus being the development of a rotary Total Artificial Heart that would ultimately replace heart transplantation. Having completed early stage device engineering and prototype development in Queensland Australia using Queensland government grants, the technology and company transitioned to a privately held company in the US, BiVACOR Inc. BiVACOR Inc is a Delaware incorporated entity with research links with Texas Heart Institute in Houston, and a device engineering facility in California. The Founder, Dr Daniel Timms, has managed the company since its establishment in 2008 and currently serves as Director and Chief Technology Officer.
Heart Failure is a devastating disease affecting more than 20 million patients worldwide, however only 4,200 heart transplants take place globally each year, due to a shortage of donors. Improved availability of human hearts for transplantation does not immediately address this problem, as transplants are generally successful for a period of 7-10 years, due to organ rejection. The advantage with BiVACOR’s device is the recipients of the device will not require on-going immunosuppressants, and there is no risk of rejection, hence the clinically tested and approved device is expected to last the life of the patient without needing replacement. In 2016, the global market for cardiac assist devices and artificial hearts was $1.2 billion.