4C Medical Technologies, Inc. (4C Medical), named after the four chambers of the heart, is developing a novel, minimally invasive device for the treatment of mitral regurgitation (MR). MR impacts up to 10 percent of people over age 75, half of whom are not eligible for open-heart surgery. The need for a minimally invasive solution and the growing addressable population have driven both increased investment and innovation in minimally invasive solutions.
4C Medical has developed a novel transcatheter MR treatment device, the AltaValve™. Unlike other transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) devices, AltaValve is placed in the left atrium, thus preserving left ventricle. Furthermore, due to supra-annular positioning of the valve, AltaValve avoids issues related to the complexity and dynamics of the mitral annulus, making it suitable for patients’ independent of their MR mechanism. This approach may eliminate complications that are associated with current TMVR devices, such as Left Ventricular Outflow Tract obstruction, device embolization, and early device fatigue failure.
AltaValve can be delivered using either a transapical or a transseptal delivery system.
Philippe Généreux, MD, Co-Director of the Structural Heart Program at the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute of Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey and a practicing Interventional Cardiologist at Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada said of the AltaValve, “Delivered transseptally, this device will provide a treatment option for a broad MR patient population. This includes patients that can be treated by other TMVR devices, patients that cannot be treated by other TMVR devices, and even patients with previously failed mitral repair.”
4C raised $3 million through the Angel Investor Tax Credit and almost $9 million in total capital. When asked if this would have been harder without the credit, CEO Bob Thatcher remarked, “Absolutely! We were sorry to see the program was not extended into 2018, hopefully it will come back in the future to help startup companies like 4C Medical.”
Starting with the hiring of their first employee in mid-2016, the company has grown to 15 employees. Growth should continue, reaching to 40-50 employees over the next two years. “The angel tax credit was very beneficial to 4C Medical,” said Thatcher.
Growth has resulted from 4C Medical’s efficient operations: The team, experienced working in small cardiovascular companies, balances expertise to solve problems and ability to work fast with limited budgets. This maximizes innovation while minimizing wasted energy.
“The uniqueness of the device concept, combined with our exceptional and unified team, continues to lead to tremendous progress” stated Mr. Thatcher.