Symetis closes CHF 23 million financing to complete clinical development of Acurate TAtm, an innovative percutaneous valve replacement system

Lausanne, Switzerland - June 29, 2009. Symetis SA, a privately held company developing an innovative percutaneous valve replacement program, announces today that it raised CHF 23 million in a new financing round co-led by Wellington Partners and Vinci Capital–Renaissance PME. Banexi Venture Partners has also joined the round together with existing investors Truffle Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Aravis Venture as well as BiomedInvest and private investors.

The uniqueness of the Acurate™ is its self-positioning design, providing the physician with an unmatched positioning tolerance and ease of use. Symetis has completed its pre-clinical studies and is preparing a first-in-man clinical study to be initiated during the second half of 2009. In parallel, Symetis will initiate in-vivo testing and validation of its Acurate TF, a trans-femoral version of the Acurate concept.

Trans-catheter aortic valve replacement therapy (TAVR) is expected to grow from $100 million in 2008 to over $1 billion by 2015; the recent acquisition by Medtronic of two TAVR actors for over $1 billion is supporting this forecast. Driving the TAVR growth is the emergence of a new market segment (inoperable high risk patients) and a progressive transfer from “surgical” to “percutaneous” ones with the promise of reducing hospital stays, co-morbidity and costs. The unique self-positioning features of Symetis’s Acurate™, making TAVR easier, safer and more reliable, will prove to be a major competitive advantage, reducing the learning curve associated with the currently market approved first generation systems.

Erich Schlick, MD, General Partner at Wellington Partners, co-lead of this financing round, commented “With this investment, we are confirming our September 2008 assessment of Symetis: a unique technology backed by strong intellectual property, an excellent, seasoned management team and a sound business strategy."

Dr. Christian Waldvogel, Managing Partner at Vinci Capital, co-lead of the transaction, commented, “TAVR will be to stenotic valve therapy what stent was to the coronary obstruction therapy. With its unique self-positioning technology, Symetis’ Acurate will prove to become a major player in this estimated $1.2 billion market”

In addition, Dr. Thomas Widmann, MD, is joining the Symetis Board of Directors: “I look forward to working with the Symetis team to establish in Europe, US and Asia, the clinical efficacy of Symetis’ Acurate,

Jacques R. Essinger, PhD, CEO of Symetis, added: “This financing gives us the means to compete in this fast-moving field and to bring the Acurate technology up to market approval.”

About Symetis

Symetis SA (www.symetis.com) is a Swiss start-up developing innovative valve replacement solutions. Based in Lausanne, the company is financed by leading European venture capital firms, which include Truffle Capital (www.truffle.com), Novartis Venture Fund (www.novartisfund.novartis.com), Aravis Venture (www.aravis.ch) , Wellington Partners (www.wellington-partners.com), Vinci Capital (www.vincicapital.ch) , Banexi Venture (www.banexiventures.com).

About Vinci Capital–Renaissance PME

Vinci Capital is an independent Swiss private-equity firm whose mission is the financing and development of Swiss-based technology companies. Vinci Capital has an exclusive mandate to manage the funds of Renaissance PME and Mona Lisa AG. Renaissance PME is a foundation dedicated to Swiss pension funds to provide them with a fiscally-optimized and regulated vehicle for direct private-equity investments. Mona Lisa AG is an investment holding funded by Swisscom dedicated to financing innovative Swiss SMEs with high growth potential. www.vincicapital.ch

About Wellington partners

Wellington Partners is one of the most successful pan-European venture capital firms. With some €800 million under management and offices in Munich, London, Palo Alto and Zurich, the firm invests into companies throughout Europe that have the potential to become global leaders, in the areas of Digital Media, Technology and Life Sciences. Since 1998, Wellington has invested in more than 100 companies, including publicly traded Actelion, Wavelight and XING and successful privately held companies like Alando (acquired by eBay) and Grandis (acquired by Novartis). www.wellington-partners.com 

About Banexi Ventures

Paris-based Banexi Ventures Partners was founded in 1982 and focuses on early-stage companies with high growth potential and technology. Banexi Ventures Partners is the Management Company of Banexi Ventures 2, Banexi Ventures 3 and BV4, French venture capital funds representing over €340M. Banexi Ventures Partners invests in Europe in different sectors including, Information technologies (Internet,mobile applications), Electronics, Semi-conductors and Life sciences (Medtech). www.banexiventures.com