Cardiac medical-device firm Sunshine Heart raises $5 million

Eden Prairie-based cardiac medical device firm Sunshine Heart has raised Australian $4.6 million ($5.03 million) by selling 115 million shares in a private placement with institutional investors in the United States and Canada, the company announced Monday.

Sunshine Heart is listed on the Australian stock exchange and investors in this round are buying shares at Australian 4 cents (4 cents) a share.

The company is developing the C-Pulse(R) Heart Assist System, an implantable, nonblood contacting, heart assist therapy to treat moderate to severe heart failure. According to Sunshine, C-Pulse is designed to relieve heart failure symptoms through balloon counter-pulsation technology that helps the heart by reducing the workload of the left ventricle. The balloon inflation and deflation is designed to synchronize with a patient’s heartbeat, akin to a pacemaker.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted approval to conduct a U.S. feasibility clinical trial with the C-Pulse System and the money will be used to help in clinical trials and product development.

“The continued confidence demonstrated by the investment community exemplifies the growing excitement around the C-Pulse Heart Assist System for treatment of Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure,” said Dave Rosa, Sunshine Heart’s chief executive officer, in a news release.

Sunshine plans to raise an additional Australian $9.1 million ($10 million) in August from investors in the U.S., Canada and Australia. In addition to paying for the clinical trials, the money will be used to develop a fully implantable wireless version of C-Pulse.

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