Collaboration Strengthens Peijia’s Position for Competing in a Largely Untapped Market and Supports Global Expansion of HighLife’s Technology
BEIJING and PARIS, December 21, 2020 – Peijia Medical Ltd (HK Stock Code: 09996) and HighLife SAS, a Paris-based medical device company, focused on the development of a unique trans-septalmitral valve replacement (“TMVR”) system to treat patients suffering from mitral regurgitation, announced that they have entered into a license agreement pursuant to which HighLife has granted to Peijia an exclusive license regarding certain proprietary TMVR products currently in development by HighLife. Under the Agreement, Peijia is entitled to, among other things, manufacture, develop, and commercialize the products in the greater China region, and HighLife is in return entitled to receive an upfront fee and subsequent milestone payments.
Interventional treatment for mitral regurgitation (“MR”) is considered to be one of the most challenging areas in the field of structural heart disease, yet also represents huge market potential. The TMVR technology developed by HighLife uses a trans-septalapproach to treat patients with MR, and is currently evaluated in international clinical studies in more than 20 sites on three continents.
“We’ve evaluated the transapical approach in the very beginning, but it is clear now that trans-septaldelivery is the gold standard,” said Nicolo Piazza, M.D., of the McGill University Health Centre. Dr. Piazza, a Key Opinion Leader in the field of interventional heart valve treatment and the Principal Investigator of HighLife’s TMVR products, said he believes that “HighLife is well advanced in terms of technology and shows promising results. The TMVR device has a small catheter — similar to that of a TAVR system — and is extremely user-friendly. I think the transcatheter aortic valve operators will be very comfortable deploying this valve.”
Under the License Agreement, Peijia and HighLife will establish a joint review committee to enhance a mutual sharing of information about the development as well as commercialization of the TMVR products, further deepening cooperation between the two companies. The terms also allow cross-licensing on future improvements of the products, encouraging both companies to focus on innovations.
HighLife sees this agreement with Peijia as a major endorsement since its first venture capital financing led by Sofinnova Partners in 2017.
“This is an important milestone for HighLife, which supports our ambitions to go global and benefit from the extremely dynamic Chinese structural heart market through our partnership with Peijia,” said Georg Börtlein, HighLife’s CEO and Founder. “We remain committed to bringing the best treatment option for the broadest patient population to market. The initial results from our multi-centric clinical studies suggest that our trans-septalapproach improves patient outcomes and can be used effectively by multiple operators.”
Peijia views the collaboration as an important step in strengthening its structural heart pipeline by adding potentially first-in-class clinical-stage TMVR products.
“This collaboration marks a major milestone to further build up Peijia’s technology leadership in the structural heart.” said Dr. Yi Zhang, Founder and CEO of Peijia Medical. “We always strive to provide more innovative products and solutions for patients. The collaboration with HighLife demonstrates Peijia’s commitment to technology leadership with best-in-class partners from around the world. We firmly believe that this kind of collaborative innovation will benefit more patients in China.”
HighLife was founded in 2010 by Georg Börtlein, who previously co-founded CoreValve Inc., a pioneer in the development of trans-catheter aortic valve implantation, which was supported early on by leading European life sciences venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners until the sale to Medtronic in 2009 for more than $700 million. Sofinnova Partners, the historical VC lead investor in HighLife, is joined by other blue-chip investors, USVP, Andera Partners, Sectoral, and VI Partners.