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UMB startup Harpoon Medical acquired for $100 million

In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, freshly-cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas.(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, freshly-cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas.(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

University of Maryland, Baltimore startup Harpoon Medical was acquired by Edwards Lifesciences for $100 million, Edwards announced Wednesday.

The deal could rise to $150 million if Harpoon meets pre-specified milestones.

Harpoon’s primary product is a device designed to facilitate beating-heart, minimally invasive, echo-guided mitral valve repair. Clinical trials have shown that the product leads to positive safety and procedural outcomes. Using the device, blood thinners are not necessary following the procedure.

“There are a significant number of patients currently undergoing mitral valve surgery that we believe can benefit from Harpoon’s therapy during a minimally invasive, beating-heart procedure,” said James S. Gammie, M.D., the device’s inventor and chairman of the company’s scientific advisory board. “This therapy offers the potential for earlier treatment of degenerative mitral valve disease with faster recovery and less morbidity, while also providing the opportunity for more consistent procedures and outcomes for patients.”

Harpoon’s acquisition represents the third major exit for a University of Maryland, Baltimore startup in the past couple of months. Philips acquired Analytical Informatics last month and Lentigen acquired Living Pharma in July.

Edwards initially invested in Harpoon in 2015 with an exclusive option to acquire the company.

“We believe the addition of Harpoon Medical’s technology and talented team will enable even more opportunities to help patients with degenerative mitral regurgitation,” said Bernard Zovighian, Edwards’ corporate vice president, surgical heart valve therapy.  “The unique beating-heart repair procedure for mitral valve patients complements Edwards’ comprehensive portfolio of treatments for structural heart disease, and reinforces our commitment to innovation in cardiac surgery.”

Another primary investor in Harpoon was Epidarex Capital, an early-stage fund focused on life science and health technology companies based in Bethesda and Edinburgh, Scotland. Epidarex led harpoon’s Series A funding.

“Having been actively involved with Harpoon since its early days, this is an exciting milestone for the company, for the University of Maryland Baltimore and for Epidarex,” said Kyp Sirinakis, managing partner, Epidarex. “Harpoon is a good example of how Epidarex identifies and funds the most promising early-stage technologies in under-ventured markets. Harpoon exemplifies the Epidarex strategy of successfully building highly innovative companies that are addressing large, unmet medical needs with solutions that provide significant benefits to patients.”

 


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