Cardiology Funding

Procyrion bags $30M to push heart failure pump through the clinic

Procyrion has topped off its coffers with a $30 million series D, which will advance its heart failure pump through a pilot study and toward a pivotal trial. The pump is designed for patients with cardiorenal syndrome, that is, patients with heart failure who are also losing kidney function.

“Of the more than 1 million patients per year in the U.S. admitted to the hospital with acute decompensated heart failure, 25-30% also have worsening renal function. These are typically the most difficult to treat patients with high mortality and rehospitalization rates. Today there is a major gap in effective therapies that are available to treat these critically ill patients,” said Procyrion President and CEO Eric Fain, M.D., in a statement.

Procyrion developed the Aortix device for patients who don’t respond to heart failure drugs but aren’t sick enough to warrant surgery, such as a heart transplant or the implantation of a left ventricular assist device—a large, mechanical heart pump.

Thinner than a pencil, Aortix is delivered through a catheter to a part of the aorta between the heart and the renal arteries. Here, it reduces afterload—the pressure against which the heart must work to pump blood out—requiring the heart to do less work and helping it rest. At the same time, it boosts blood flow to the kidneys, which increases urine output and cuts fluid overload.

“The Aortix device is uniquely designed and positioned in the body to simultaneously decrease the workload of the heart and improve kidney function. These funds will allow us to make significant advances in our program, in particular, allowing us to assess the Aortix system’s ability to decongest cardiorenal patients in our pilot study,” Fain said in the statement.

Fain, a veteran of St. Jude Medical, joined Procyrion last July after the devicemaker’s 2017 acquisition by Abbott Medical. He followed fellow St. Jude/Abbott alum Elisabeth Neely, who oversaw global regulatory affairs at St. Jude and then filled that role for Abbott’s cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure unit. Neely now heads up clinical and regulatory affairs at Procyrion.

The latest round brings Procyrion’s total to more than $59 million. Bluebird Ventures led the round, with Fannin Partners, Scientific Health Development and the state of Texas also pitching in. The Houston-based company picked up $16 million in series C funding early last year, which came after a $10 million B round in 2015.

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