Tag: André Mercanzini

Company News: Aleva Neurotherapeutics Expands Board of Directors

– Entrepreneur Martin Velasco and Industry Expert Scott R. Ward Appointed as Board Members –

Aleva Neurotherapeutics, a company developing next-generation implants for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in major neurological indications such as Parkinson´s disease or depression, today announced the expansion of its Board of Directors. Martin Velasco, a seasoned entrepreneur and business angel, and Scott R. Ward, advisor and former Senior Vice President and President, CardioVascular at Medtronic, were appointed as members of the Board of Directors.

Martin Velasco is an entrepreneur and business angel with extensive experience in the IT, medical and biotech industries. He is the co-founder and former CEO of SpeedLingua, a company developing and marketing solutions for language learning. In addition, he has co-founded various technology companies and serves as a board member of several high-tech and healthcare firms including Anecova, Sumerian, AC-Immune, Cocomore, and Aridhia. Moreover, Martin Velasco is Vice President of the Board of the Foundation EPFL+ and Vice Chairman of the European Tech Tour Association. He has received numerous prestigious awards for his activities as a business angel.

Scott R. Ward is President of Raymond Holdings, LLC, a firm focused on the life sciences with activities in venture capital, corporate strategy, and transactional advisory services. From 1981 to 2010, he has held various senior management positions at Medtronic, Inc. with increasing responsibility, including Senior Vice President and President, Vascular and CardioVascular, Senior Vice President and President Neurological, Gastroenterology, Urology and Diabetes, and President Neurological Business. Mr. Ward is Chairman of the Board of MAP Pharmaceuticals, iScience Interventional and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. He also serves on the Board of Creganna-Tactx Medical, Respircardia Inc., and Surmodics, Inc.

André Mercanzini, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Aleva Neurotherapeutics, has stepped down as a board member of Aleva. The founders have elected Scott Ward as their representative. Markus Hosang of Biomedinvest AG and Juerg Eckhardt of Bellevue Asset Management AG continue to serve as members of the Board of Directors, which is chaired by Oern Stuge, MD. Mr. Stuge has a long-standing management track record with healthcare companies such as Medtronic Inc. and Abbott Laboratories Inc.

Company News: Aleva Neurotherapeutics Closes EUR 9.5 Million Series A Financing Round

– Novel Products for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to Be Advanced Into the Clinic –

Aleva Neurotherapeutics, a company developing next-generation implants for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in major neurological indications such as Parkinson´s disease or depression, today announced the closing of a Series A financing round totaling EUR 9.5 million. Aleva was founded in 2008 as a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Microsystems Laboratory.

The round was funded by a group of seasoned industry specialists and co-led by BioMedInvest AG (managed by BioMedPartners AG, Basel, Switzerland) and BB BIOTECH VENTURES III, L.P. (advised by Bellevue Asset Management AG, Kuesnacht, Switzerland). Initiative Capital Romandie (Lausanne, Switzerland) and renowned private investors also participated in the financing.

The proceeds will be used to support the development of Aleva’s pioneering product pipeline for neurostimulation, which is based on the company’s proprietary microDBS™ technology. microDBS™ is a next-generation technology addressing Deep Brain Stimulation therapy, currently a US$ 450 million market with strong double-digit growth rates.

Aleva’s microDBS™ technology for target-specific stimulation has been developed to significantly reduce the side effects and potential complications as well as the costs of DBS therapy. Moreover, its features allow for expanding the existing DBS market to new indications which cannot be addressed by currently available technologies.

The company is developing three products based on its microDBS™ technology: directSTIM™, an intelligent electrode compatible with existing DBS platforms; spiderSTIM™, a full solution for both intra-surgical and long-term therapeutic use; and the cortiSTIM™ device for cortical stimulation. All products will be compatible with marketed pulse generators. Clinical trials of the lead product, directSTIM™, are scheduled to start later this year.