Updated on 2 November 2012
Dr Elaine Stead, VP, corporate development, Sunshine Heart
Dealing with the common diseases in an innovative manner is becoming a trend these days and not surprisingly, Australia is playing a crucial role in this. Sunshine Heart, a US-based company which is listed in Australian Stock Exchange, has developed a unique method to help the patients with class III or ambulatory class IV heart failure.
The company's C-pulse Heart Assist system has been making news, with the company receiving $23 million through an initial public offer (IPO) held in the US during October 2012. BioSpectrum speaks with Dr Elaine Stead, VP, corporate development, Sunshine Heart to find out more about the device, the company and the future that this device holds for the patients.
Please tell us about Sunshine Heart?
The company was founded in 2000 by the inventor Dr Will Peters and his business partner, Mr Crispin Marsh a patent attorney, around the early intellectual property developed by Dr Will Peters for the C-Pulse device. Following, early investment by Australian based venture capital the company was eventually incorporated and listed on the ASX in 2004. Currently, the company has 16 employees and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US.
How does the company deal with funding issues?
Funding and continued access to it is an issue for all companies, particularly those in the medical technology or biotechnology space as development of healthcare products is a capital hungry exercise and can have long development times. Despite this, Sunshine Heart has always been able to raise capital.
It is important for companies to look at all forms of capital or funding, to access the right type of capital for the specific stage of development, to define and communicate value building milestones to investors and most importantly, to have a plan A, B, C and D.