CAESAREA, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--V-Wave, an early-stage medical device company that makes innovative, implantable devices for treating patients with heart failure (HF), announced today appointments of its senior executives: Dr. Frank Litvack, MD, as Chairman and Dr. Neal Eigler, MD, as CEO. Both are internationally recognized medical scientists, cardiovascular device developers, serial entrepreneurs and management executives.
Dr. Litvack received his MD from McGill University and was trained in Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai where he remained as Co-Director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Center for 15 years. He has co-founded, operated and served as Chairman of a number of innovative Medtech companies including: Progressive Angioplasty Systems, the developer of the stent delivery system for the original Palmaz-Schatz stent and other products. PAS was acquired by U.S. Surgical in 1997. He was CEO and Chairman of Conor MedSystems, a developer of innovative drug eluting stent technology. He took Conor public in 2005 and it was later acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2007. He was also Chairman of Savacor, a left atrial pressure monitoring company that was acquired by St Jude Medical in 2005. Currently, he serves on several Boards and is Chairman of Capricor Inc., a biotechnology company focusing on cardiovascular diseases. He is a Founding Partner in Pura Vida Funds LLC, a healthcare investment firm.
Dr. Eigler originally trained in systems engineering at UCLA, then attended Yale Medical School and did his Cardiovascular Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. Along with Dr. Litvack, he served as Co-Director of Cardiac Intervention at Cedars for more than two decades, holding the academic rank of Professor of Medicine at UCLA. He has 41 issued U.S. patents on medical devices. He was a Co-Founder and/or Medical Director of Progressive Angioplasty and Conor MedSystems where he co-invented its multi-drug delivery stent platform with programmable elution kinetics. In 2000, Dr. Eigler founded Savacor, a developer of an implantable left atrial pressure sensing system that was linked to a real-time patient self-management system for treating HF. He served as Savacor’s only CEO through acquisition. Wishing to stay close to the technology, he remained with St Jude as a Senior Vice President of Technology Incubation from 2006 through 2014.
Located in Israel, V-Wave has developed and is clinically testing a proprietary percutaneously implanted unidirectional shunt that straddles the wall dividing the right and left atrium of the heart. The device regulates left atrial pressure (LAP). Elevated LAP is the direct cause of worsening symptoms and hospitalization in over 90% of HF patients. The device is permanently implanted by a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure. Small human trials have been reported to show promising results for safety and early improvement in symptoms, exercise capacity, and assessment of quality of life, in association with a lowering of LAP.
THE HUMAN AND FINANCIAL COST OF HEART FAILURE
HF is the end-stage of nearly all forms of heart disease and takes a high toll in terms of premature death, deteriorating health, recurrent hospitalizations, and heavy costs to healthcare systems. Each year in the US population, there are more than 3 million hospitalizations with acutely worsening HF and direct costs exceed $30 billion, most of which goes for in-patient care. The number of patients with HF is expected to double during the next two decades as baby boomers age and develop heart disease.
Dr. Litvack said, “I look forward to working again with Dr. Eigler, who along with company President Erez Rozenfeld, are building a team capable of achieving timely clinical and regulatory milestones. We are enthusiastic about the potential of the V-Wave Unidirectional Shunt System bringing relief and more favorable outcomes to many suffering from HF around the world.”
Dr. Neal Eigler said, “The Company’s technology is testimony to the innovative genius of V-Wave’s founders and the entire V-Wave team in Israel. We are very pleased to have begun first human trials with leading clinical investigators from around the world. This early-phase experience will gather information necessary for larger-scale investigations needed for regulatory approvals in the U.S. and other countries.”
About V-Wave Ltd.
V-Wave is a privately held company with offices in Israel and the U.S. The major investors are Israeli venture firms BRM Group and Pontifax. For further information on V-Wave, visit www.vwavemedical.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements related to clinical development and potential regulatory approval of V-Wave’s products. All forward-looking statements and other information included in this press release are based on information available to V-Wave as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements or information. The company's actual results could differ materially from those described in the company's forward-looking statements.
CAUTION: The V-Wave Unidirectional Shunt System is not available for sale in the United States or other countries.