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Swiss stent developer grabs $4.3M series B in crowded EU market

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Swiss coronary stent developer Qvanteq is reeling in more than $4.3 million in series B financing, representing the emergence of yet another stent player in an intensely competitive European market.

The three-year-old startup said it plans to use the funding (from private investors) to run a proof of concept/first-in-man study of its stent, and also pursue a CE marking for the product.

Let's cut to the chase here. There are plenty of stent developers and manufacturers in the European market already, each vying for a market edge with some new advance or iteration that could enable it to stand out. Market leader Abbott ($ABT), for example, spent much of last year mobilizing efforts to start selling its next-generation Xience Xpedition drug-eluting coronary stent. Not that long ago, Swiss competitor Biosensors International gained a CE mark for a polymer free-drug eluting coronary stent. And they, in turn, compete in Europe with everyone else from U.S. giants Boston Scientific ($BSX) and Medtronic ($MDT), to Stentys in France, Biotronik in Germany and many others.

Qvanteq asserts that its coronary stent device brings something new to the table. Their approach tends toward simplifying things, for example, making a "bioactive" stent that avoids a coating and doesn't release a drug. Qvanteq claims that its stent, with a proprietary "surface" technology, has performed well in preclinical in vivo studies compared to both bare metal stents and drug-eluting stents in reducing blood vessel narrowing, or restenosis.

Qvanteq said it will pursue a "straightforward" regulatory approval process and expects to compete with drug-eluting stents. That's a lot of confidence for a startup that just launched in 2009, spun off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

- read the release

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