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Neochord, Inc. announces expansion of EU trial
December 17, 2014

NeoChord Inc., a med-tech firm that's developed artificial heart "strings," raised $5.1 million in financing as it continues to enroll patients in a European clinical trial.

Mayo Clinic researchers invented NeoChord's technology, which treats patients whose heart valves aren't closing tightly enough. The condition, called mitral valve regurgitation, may not cause serious symptoms in patients at first. However, people who suffer from it may ultimately develop abnormal heart rhythms or heart failure. NeoChord's strings are implanted and help restore normal function of the valve. Because the procedure doesn't require a patient's chest to be cracked open, NeoChord expects its technology will appeal to physicians who want a less invasive method for treating patients before they develop serious symptoms.

NeoChord raised its recent round of funding from existing investors, as well as newcomer Hopen Life Science Ventures, a venture-capital firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich. About $1 million of the funding came in the form of debt converted into equity, said John Seaberg, CEO and chairman of NeoChord. The round of financing will support NeoChord's plans to enroll more patients in a clinical trial. It is already monitoring patients who were implanted with the device more than a year ago. The company expects to begin selling its technology in Europe by early next year.

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