OneVentures has announced it has invested in BiVACOR, a medical technology company developing the Total Artificial Heart (TAH) device that has the potential to replace heart transplantation procedures.
The investment will be made through its OneVentures Healthcare Fund III (the Fund). It is dedicated to supporting the commercialisation of Australian biomedical innovation and was established as part of the federal government’s Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) initiative.
The Fund was awarded $85 million from the BTF 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 secured seed funding from US investors in 2013. 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 $1.2 billion cardiac failure market that is currently addressed by heart transplantation and other devices.
“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 and further in the future may replace the need for transplantation altogether,” 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.”
"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 also 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.
“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.”