Leveraging Robotics to Deliver Minimally Invasive Care to Heart Valve Patients: Our Investment in Capstan Medical
Aug 9, 2023|
The Eclipse team is excited to lead Capstan’s $31.4M Series B to accelerate its mission to bring the benefits of robotics to one of the few remaining untouched areas of medicine, structural heart.
In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women across most racial and ethnic groups, claiming the lives of nearly 700,000 Americans every year. If that number isn’t eye-opening enough, one person dies every 33 seconds in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease. When heart disease affects the mitral valve, there are very few effective treatments. Traditional surgery has been an adequate treatment option for heart valve disease since the 1960s, but the procedure is invasive and has mortality rates of nearly 10%. While advances in aortic valve disease — specifically transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) — have made a significant impact on patient outcomes, no such innovation is yet available for the mitral valve.
Today, the Eclipse team is excited to announce our partnership with Capstan Medical to accelerate its mission to change structural heart intervention across the world by developing minimally invasive technology to address heart valve diseases as a first step. We are thrilled to lead the company’s $31.4M Series B round in partnership with Intuitive Ventures and PUMA Ventures, a new firm founded by Dr. Vipul Patel and Amit Hazen, two leaders in robotic surgery and medical technology innovation.
Founded and led by a team of heart valve implant experts and seasoned robotics engineers — including Dan Wallace, David Schummers, and Maggie Nixon — Capstan Medical has set out to address the rising need for minimally invasive structural heart disease treatments by delivering the world’s first fully integrated structural heart robotics and device company. The Capstan Medical team is uniquely positioned to tackle this problem, having developed solutions at Intuitive Surgical, Hansen Medical, Auris Health, Cephea Valve Technologies, and more. With 100+ years of experience in heart valves, catheters, and robotics, there are very few teams that have both the device and robotics expertise to solve this problem.
Catheter-based treatment enables heart valve disease to be addressed with a small incision in the groin, without stopping the heart or opening the chest as required in open heart surgery. Yet, there are no commercially available catheter-based mitral and tricuspid valve replacement options on the market today. This means less than 2% of the over 5 million eligible patients are currently receiving treatment, leaving a rapidly growing patient pool with very limited options to treat their valve disease before it turns fatal. Many attempts to develop solutions for transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) have failed because these efforts have focused on a single aspect of the needed technology. Capstan Medical has taken an approach that includes the integration of implants, delivery systems, and integrated robotic navigation capabilities. By developing a catheter-based, robotic delivery platform, Capstan Medical is working to provide more patients with safer, less intrusive options. Further, recovery from open heart surgery can take several months, whereas Capstan Medical’s approach allows patients to leave the hospital in days.
Since inception in 2020, Capstan Medical has made tremendous progress. With this latest round of funding, the company will expand its engineering, clinical development, and operations teams to achieve the first human use of their technology.
Capstan Medical is solving a huge unmet medical need — there are millions of patients suffering from mitral valve disease that lack access to minimally invasive options and many are not healthy enough to undergo open heart surgery. By delivering minimally invasive care to heart valve patients, the company could expand life expectancies by a decade or more. And, that’s just step one. The company is not stopping at addressing heart valve disease — they have their sights set on changing the way structural heart is treated across the world. The Eclipse team is excited to work alongside this visionary team to transform heart valve treatment and beyond.
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