Eindhoven University of Technology: TU/e spinoff Xeltis lands €15 million European financing from EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €15 million financing agreement with medical technology company Xeltis, based in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Xeltis is pioneering a restorative approach in heart valve replacement and vascular therapies, a technology that stems in part from research at Eindhoven University of Technology.

Xeltis’ so-called endogenous tissue restoration (ETR) uses the patient’s natural healing system to restore heart valves and blood vessels with the patient’s own tissue. The company’s devices are vascular grafts and heart valves designed to turn into living valves and vessels by harnessing the body’s natural healing process and by facilitating tissue formation once implanted.

Xeltis’ devices are made of supramolecular polymers shaped — through a process called electrospinning — into a microstructure that allows tissue restoration. This technology has its origins in the research of several groups at TU Eindhoven. Fourteen years ago, the company emerged from a merger with QTIS, founded by TU/e alumnus Martijn Cox. The link between Xeltis and research has always remained. For example, the company is still physically located on the TU/e campus with one of its two headquarters and all R&D takes place in Eindhoven.

Leveraging the versatility of its technology platform, which can be used to improve many types of implants, Xeltis initiated the development of three types of cardiovascular implants: pulmonary heart valves, coronary artery bypass graft and haemodialysis access grafts.

The EIB’s non-dilutive financing will support the acceleration of these three clinical programmes. The financing is being made available under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), an EIB Group initiative in partnership with EU Member States to support European companies whose business was impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In terms of medical technology innovations, what Xeltis is doing almost sounds like science fiction, yet it is already here,” said EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters. “I think Europe can be proud that it is a breeding ground for such cutting-edge technology, which has the potential to significantly impact medical care in a number of fields. I am proud that, with help of the European Guarantee Fund, we can get behind Xeltis to help them accelerate their way out of this difficult global phase.”

Eliane Schutte, Xeltis CEO, added: “EIB financial support can make the difference in the time our restorative heart valves and blood vessels reach patients that today have limited or no options at all for their conditions. Xeltis has the most advanced restorative technology platform in cardiovascular medicine and may positively impact millions of lives.”

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