Technology / Universities

University of Maryland spinout Harpoon Medical acquired in $100M deal

Baltimore-based Harpoon Medical is developing a device to make a form of open heart surgery less invasive. After two years, Edwards Lifesciences decided to buy the company.

The Harpoon Medical device. (Courtesy photo)

Edwards Lifesciences officially exercised an option to acquire Harpoon Medical in a $100 million deal announced Wednesday.
Harpoon Medical is developing a device based on technology invented by James S. Gammie, the head of cardiac surgery at University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The device is designed to create a less invasive form of open heart surgery that repairs the valve flowing from the left atrium to the left ventricle. It also could cut time of procedures to less than 60 minutes from the current time of 3-6 hours. The device allows surgeons to enter through a small opening between the ribs, repairs the mitral valve while the heart continues to beat.
“We believe the addition of Harpoon Medical’s technology and talented team will enable even more opportunities to help patients with degenerative mitral regurgitation,” Bernard Zovighian, Edwards’ corporate vice president for surgical heart valve therapy, said in a statement. “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.”
The acquisition comes as the device is still in development, and not yet available for commercial use. Results of a recent study found the device to be “safe and effective,” and the company is currently eying a CE Mark to be approved in Europe.
Harpoon Medical, which is based inside the warehouse at Camden Yards, signed a deal with publicly-traded Edwards Lifesciences in 2015 that included an upfront investment in return for an option to acquire the company. In addition to the all-cash payment for the acquisition, the deal includes the potential for up to $150 million in milestone payments over the next 10 years, according to Edwards.
The acquisition marks a win for state backers who got behind the startup. It was the first company to receive direct investment from UM Ventures, and also raised money from Epidarex Capital, the Maryland Venture Fund and the Abell Foundation. TEDCO and the InvestMaryland Challenge also contributed funding.

Companies: Harpoon Medical / University of Maryland, Baltimore

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