SV Life Sciences and Third Rock Ventures launch medical device company Cibiem


Cibiem announced the completion of a US$10 million Series A round led by SV Life Sciences and Third Rock Ventures. The company is launching out of Coridea, a medical device incubator focused on innovation driven by new targets in the cardio-renal and cardio-pulmonary fields.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to support development of Cibiem’s proprietary, minimally invasive, catheter-based approach focused on carotid body modulation (CBM) for the treatment of sympathetic nervous system-mediated diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and renal failure. The company is testing the CBM physiological approach in first-in-man clinical trials.

“Our approach is to drive medical device innovation by looking through the lens of applied physiology—seeking to solve medical challenges by addressing the root cause of the disease,” said Howard R Levin, co-founder of Coridea and co-founder and president of Cibiem. “Our modulation of the carotid body—a key chemosensor located at the fork of the carotid artery that helps regulate respiratory activity is a breakthrough innovation based on extensive studies and a deep understanding of the interdependence of the body’s various systems. This approach could mean exciting new treatment possibilities for a broad range of diseases.”

Cibiem co-founders Mark Gelfand and Levin are the team of innovators and entrepreneurs behind Coridea. Since its inception in 2003, Coridea has successfully launched six companies including CHF Solutions, Ardian and Respicardia (formerly, Cardiac Concepts). Notably, Ardian was acquired for US$800 million by Medtronic in 2010—marking one of the highest prices to date for a medical device company still in the pre-commercialisation stage. Ardian developed the SymplicityCatheter System, a catheter-based intervention for the treatment of hypertension that received the Cleveland Clinic’s number one of ten top Medical Innovation Awards last year.

Cibiem is led by Levin, Gelfand and their colleague Paul Alan Sobotka who will serve as Cibiem’s chief medical officer. The company is leveraging the extensive experience and proven track record of the Coridea team, including Gelfand’s engineering background, Levin’s training and experience as a cardiologist specialising in the care of patients with heart failure and Sobotka’s cardiology expertise in heart failure and hypertension and experience in the design and administration of effective clinical trials. This team has an established history of working together successfully to develop early-stage and novel medical device solutions.

Cibiem’s management team is joined by an experienced board of directors, including Jonathan Wyler, principal at SV Life Sciences, and Neil Exter, partner at Third Rock Ventures.

“Cibiem is led by a management team with an impressive track record in medical device innovation and the formation of successful companies,” said Wyler. “Based on this proven expertise, we see tremendous value and opportunity for the team to rapidly advance Cibiem’s unique catheter-based approach for the treatment of a broad range of sympathetic nervous system-mediated diseases.”