Why We Invested in Puzzle Medical: Improving the Lives of Patients with Heart Failure
Puzzle Medical offers low-risk heart support for high-risk patients
Every year, more than 250,000 patients in North America suffer from end-stage heart failure, a life-threatening disease, and are often too high-risk to receive traditional surgical ventricular assist devices (VADs). These implantable devices help pump blood from the lower chambers of the patient’s weakened heart to the rest of the body. While these devices can be life-saving, they involve significant risks related to bleeding complications and clot formation.
To solve this problem, Jade, Gabriel, and François founded Puzzle Medical Devices (PMD), a startup whose goal is to provide low-risk support to high-risk heart failure patients. PMD’s ModulHeart combines advances in heart surgery and interventional cardiology to make hemodynamic support safer and more accessible. Boreal Ventures is thrilled to be a partner of PMD and to support the company in its mission of improving patient quality of life and reducing the global economic burden related to heart failure disease.
The Solution: ModulHeart
ModulHeart is a transcatheter pump designed to address heart failure. The device is implanted in the descending aorta using transcatheter techniques which allows for a modular assembly of the three pumps components. These pump units, which work in parallel, rotate much slower than similarly implanted single-pump devices, and can produce equivalent blood flow rates. Since the ModulHeart pump impellers rotate much slower than comparable single-pump designs, the pump-induced shear stress and blood damage is substantially reduced, which improves patient outcomes.
ModulHeart will also feature several complimentary tools to support the main device, including a portable controller and a bedside monitoring station.
The potential of the solution goes beyond short-term VAD applications. With this device, PMD could become a lower risk long-term VAD option. In the case of the latter, the company’s goal is to provide a solution to patients who require hemodynamic support, but who are not viable candidates for currently available long-term mechanical support options due to the risks associated with such procedures.
Early Signs of Success
Earlier in 2021, PMD was awarded the “Breakthrough Device Designation” by the U.S. FDA, which will allow the company to benefit from additional FDA input during the validation process and an expedited review process. The success of the company has attracted some of the world’s most renowned Key Opinion Leaders in cardiac intervention. Combined with the team’s strong engineering expertise and its strong network in the medical community, PMD is well positioned to become the de facto standard for heart failure conditions.
So what’s next for Puzzle Medical Devices? The company will use cash from the current financing round to increase the number of tests in animals, which have shown promising results thus far, and to prepare for its first in-human clinical trial. Better keep them on your radar!
We are excited to be part of Puzzle Medical’s journey and we look forward to working with a team to develop a technology that will save lives.