TOKYO, JAPAN, June 11, 2021 – Heartseed Inc., a Tokyo-based biotechnology company developing iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes for heart failure (HF), announced it has raised JPY 4 Billion (approx. $37 Million) at Series C round, bringing its total financial backing to JPY 8.2 Billion (approx. $75 Million) since it was founded in 2015. UTokyo IPC led the round as a new investor and Makoto (Mark) Ohori, Ph.D., Partner at UTokyo IPC, will join the Heartseed Board as a Director.
In addition to UTokyo IPC, Medical Incubator Japan, Keio Innovation Initiative, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Investment also joined as new investors. Among the existing investors, SBI Investment, Nissay Capital, SMBC Capital, Medipal Holdings, and Itochu Chemical Frontier participated in this round.
Heartseed plans to use the new financing to accelerate the initiation of global clinical trial and commercialization of its lead asset HS-001 for HF as well as to confirm its proof of concept in Phase 1/2 LAPiS study in Japan.
“Heartseed has made strong progress in our research and development of our cardiac remuscularization therapy, as proved by the clearance of clinical trial application of Phase I/II LAPiS Study by the Japanese Pharmaceutical and Medical Agency and a number of awards we received.” said Professor. Keiichi Fukuda, co-founder and CEO at Heartseed. “The commitment from both new and existing investors in this round is a strong validation of our technology and strategic vision. With their support, we look forward to accelerating our development to deliver potentially curative therapy for heart failure across the globe.”
Heartseed’s lead pipeline, HS-001, is allogeneic iPSC-derived, highly purified ventricular cardiomyocyte spheroids. By forming micro-tissue-like spheroids, retention rate, and viability of cell transplant are improved. The spheroids are transplanted using a special administration needle (SEEDPLANTER®) and guide adapter developed for the safe and efficient administration of the spheroids into the myocardial layer of the heart.
The expected mechanism of action is that the transplanted cardiomyocytes electrically coupled with the patient’s myocardium to improve cardiac output by remuscularization, and secretion of angiogenic factors to form new blood vessels around the transplant site (neovascularization).
The review of the Clinical Trial Application of a phase I/II clinical trial (LAPiS Study) evaluating the safety and efficacy of HS-001 for the treatment of heart failure caused by ischemic heart disease in Japan was successfully completed in March 2021 by Japan’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency.
Heartseed Inc. was founded in 2015 to develop and commercialize cardiac remuscularization therapy developed by Professor Keiichi Fukuda and his group at the Department of Cardiology, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. Heartseed has proprietary technologies throughout the entire manufacturing process of the cardiomyocyte-cell product, including purification, cell delivery, and iPSC production. For more information, visit company website.
About UTokyo IPC
The University of Tokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. (UTokyo IPC, President & CEO Kazuhiko Oizumi) is an investment company founded by the University of Tokyo in 2016. Through start-up formation and venture investment, UTokyo IPC nurtures entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems around the academic community and industries in Japan. For more information visit https://www.utokyo-ipc.co.jp/en/
Makoto (Mark) Ohori, Ph.D.