A Medical Device Daily

Gilde Healthcare Partners (Utrecht, the Netherlands), a life sciences venture capital group, has reported the first closing of Gilde Healthcare II (GHC II), its second life science venture fund.

Current commitments to GHC II amount to EUR 85 million ($107 million), with further closes anticipated later this year. The fund expects to reach a final close of at least EUR 125 million ($158 million), the company said.

GHC II has attracted a number of major new investors as well as “significant support” from existing investors, Gilde said. It said the fund has been raised in a relatively short time frame from investors across continental Europe and that further closes may include investment from the U.S.

Investment in the first close included 47% from banks, 24% from fund of funds, 11% from pension funds, 6% from biotech cross-over funds and 12% from family offices and management.

GHC II will invest principally in privately held European start-up companies, Gilde Healthcare said. It will invest broadly across the healthcare sector including therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and enabling technologies. Investment size will range between EUR 1 and EUR 12 million per portfolio company.

Pieter van der Meer, one of the managing directors, said, “This is a very satisfying result in what is generally regarded as a challenging fund-raising environment. We are delighted to have attracted such significant support from both new and existing investors and expect to announce further commitments to GHC II soon. We believe that the timing for investing in healthcare is right.”

Gilde Investment Management has EUR 2 billion ($2.5 billion) under management in private equity, of which more than EUR 200 million ($250 million) is in specialized healthcare venture funds.

Elekta gets order from Danish hospital

Elekta (Stockholm, Sweden) reported a multiple systems order from one of the leading Danish radiation clinics at Odense University Hospital, comprising several highly advanced medical linear accelerators, including two Elekta Synergy units. In conjunction, the clinic will also will install an oncology information management system from Impac Medical Systems, an Elekta company.

Elekta Synergy, a leading clinical solution for image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), will allow the clinicians to visualize the target as a 3-D volume, as well as surrounding anatomy and organs at risk, at the time of treatment, enabling more aggressive treatment of tumors with increased precision and accuracy while minimizing the risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

The company said the Elekta Synergy solution “is being established as the reference system for this more precise and accurate method for radiating cancer tumors.”

In addition, Elekta will provide the hospital with an Elekta Synergy Platform, a linear accelerator that is prepared to be upgraded to a full IGRT linear accelerator in the future.

The integrated software information management system from Impac helps to improve overall treatment and practice management across the spectrum of cancer care by streamlining diagnostic and treatment information.

Muenster surgeon trains in Tucson

Senior cardiac surgeon Dr. Christof Schmid and members of his cardiac transplant team from the University of Muenster (Muenster, Germany) were in Tucson, Arizona, last week for training on the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart from SynCardia Systems (Tucson).

The first of a three-part certification program was conducted at the University Medical Center 's Sarver Heart Center. Instructors include SynCardia founders Marvin Slepian, MD; Richard Smith and Jack Copeland, MD.

The University of Muenster will be the eighth European center and the 15th center worldwide to be certified to implant the CardioWest Total Artificial Heart.

With a capacity of more than 1,500 beds, the University of Muenster is one of the largest hospitals for specialized medical care in northern Germany. Schmid has had vast experience with a variety of cardiac-assist devices. In June 2003, he was appointed head of the ventricular assist devices (VAD) and transplant program at the university.

The CardioWest is the only FDA- and CE-approved artificial heart. It is used as a bridge to transplant for transplant-eligible patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure who are waiting for a donor human heart. The blood-pumping ability of the device, up to 9.5 liters per minute, helps to rejuvenate vital organs that have atrophied because of a failing heart, the company said.

The Total Artificial Heart is a modern version of the Jarvik-7 Artificial Heart that was implanted in Barney Clark in 1982. In the 1990s the device and technology moved to University Medical Center and was subsequently renamed the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart. SynCardia Systems was formed in 2001 by Slepian, Richard Smith and Copeland.

New distributor for NuSil

NuSil Technology (Carpinteria, California), a manufacturer of silicone-based materials for use in healthcare, aerospace, electronics and photonics applications, said it has expanded its European distribution network with the signing of Velox (Hamburg, Germany).

Velox, an industrial raw materials distributor, will represent NuSil's healthcare and engineering products in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.

NuSil said this agreement addresses its need for additional offices and technical centers to serve these rapidly growing, high-tech manufacturing regions.

“NuSil Technology's business success is contingent upon our ability to deliver on-site application support. The challenge is to identify distributors with technical expertise in emerging markets,” said Kyle Rhodes, general manager of NuSil Technology Europe (Sophia Antipolis, France).