From left: Jim Greene, Susan Stander, Laura Cox, Robin Stephens, Hal Burnett, Brendan Cunniffe, Debra Lim, Niall Mooney, Sile Cashen, Tom Feeney, Ciaran O’Sullivan, and Patrick Schmitz
Jul 07 2014 Posted: 15:04 IST

Seroba Kernel, the associate life sciences investment firm of Kernel Capital, has announced the sale of its investee company, Apica Cardiovascular for $75 million. Based at the Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway, Apica Cardiovascular was sold to US-headquartered Thoratec Corporation, a world leader in device-based mechanical circulatory support therapies for failing hearts.

Apica had developed an innovative transapical access and closure system that can simplify and standarise the technique used to open and close the apex of a beating heart, in order to deliver large therapeutic devices into the inner chambers of the beating heart in a minimally invasive manner.

Founded in 2009, Apica’s technology began life at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences led a Series A financing of the company, which was also supported by Enterprise Ireland, and Apica moved to the Business the Innovation Centre at NUI Galway where it developed its product range. Apica products enable the delivery of aortic and mitral heart valves via the transapical route (TAVI) and the implantation of heart pumps (LVADs) for patients with advance heart failure.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Daniel O’Mahony, a partner in Seroba Kernel, said: “We are delighted with the successful outcome of the investment in Apica. It validates our model of taking leading-edge technologies from the USA, where there is a shortage of finance, and implanting them in Ireland whilst retaining links to the US innovators and clinicians. It also reinforces Galway’s position as a world-class hub for med tech development.”

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