SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- LoneStar Heart Inc. today announced the completion of an up to $20 million milestone-based equity financing to support the clinical testing and regulatory clearance of its lead product, Algisyl-LVR, a single-use, self-gelling biopolymer implanted into the heart's left ventricle during surgery for the treatment of advanced heart failure. Themes Investment Partners ("Themes"), a Hong Kong-based private equity fund focused on China markets, led the round. The new financing brings up to $35 million in equity funding since the company's founding in June 2010.
LoneStar Heart, based in Laguna Hills, Calif., also said Frank Yu, co-founder and chief executive officer of Themes and a former managing director of Goldman Sachs and Och-Ziff Capital, was elected to its board of directors. The announcements were made today at the 11TH Annual BIO Investor Forum hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization taking place through tomorrow at the Palace Hotel.
According to Frank Ahmann, president and chief operating officer, the company will first seek regulatory approval for Algisyl-LVR in the European Union, and then will expedite the product's development in China.
"The strong strategic development and financial strengths of Themes on our side provides LoneStar Heart with substantial resources to succeed in Asia," said Ahmann. "Their deep expertise and connections, particularly in China, will benefit our partnership established previously with Shanghai Biomedical Enterprise to produce and commercialize the device there."
"LoneStar Heart, founded and guided by some of the world's leading cardiac physicians and scientists, is at an inflection point," added Yu. "We are encouraged by the compelling clinical results to date and its progress in China, which is by far the largest heart failure market in the world. We are committed to accelerating LoneStar Heart's development in China."
Today's news follows LoneStar Heart's recent announcement that the first patient was treated in its AUGMENT-HF clinical trial of Algisyl-LVR at IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana and at Umberto I Policlinico, both located in Rome, Italy. The AUGMENT-HF clinical study follows on the success of a pilot study at the German Heart Center in Munich and Heart Center Dresden that established the safety and feasibility of Algisyl-LVR in severe heart failure patients. The AUGMENT-HF clinical trial is being conducted at major hospitals in Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and The Netherlands.
Classified as a medical device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Algisyl-LVR provides internal tissue support aimed at preventing the progression of heart failure and restoring the heart's normal structure and function. As it is injected, the biopolymer thickens and forms gel-like bodies that remain in the heart muscle as permanent implants providing internal support to the injured heart, reducing the ventricle's tension and stress. Early results of human testing indicate the biopolymer provides a significant improvement in the patient's quality of life.
LoneStar Heart Inc.
LoneStar Heart Inc. is developing cardiac restorative therapies for patients with heart failure that harness the heart's ability to repair itself. Based on its integrated cardiomechanical and biomolecular technologies, the privately held company is advancing a broad portfolio of products to restore the failing heart's structure and function in collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and a global network of leading clinicians. These products include Algisyl-LVR, cardiac stem-cell modulators, and cellular and genetic therapies delivered as stand-alone treatments, or in combination with the company's proprietary biopolymer matrix system.
Themes Investment Partners
Themes Investment Partners is a private equity fund that invests primarily in China-related healthcare and environmental businesses. The firm has expertise in establishing strategic partnerships between leading players in China and global companies with cutting-edge technologies, especially in the healthcare area.
For more information on Algisyl-LVR and LoneStar Heart Inc. see http://www.lonestarheartinc.com
SOURCE LoneStar Heart Inc.