Why did your company decide to participate in German Accelerator Life Sciences?
We were thrilled by the mentoring method which was offered by German Accelerator Life Sciences, especially in areas that would otherwise be hard to acquire for a small German startup (e.g. U.S. regulatory strategy, commercial strategy, reimbursement, etc.). The visibility that a GALS portfolio company gets is great and the on-site support in Cambridge, MA is invaluable.
What did your company achieve during the program?
We entered the program quite early, without the immediate plan to hire staff or built up a U.S. location.
We benefitted massively from the mentoring program since German Accelerator Life Sciences not only had highly experienced people in its internal group but also involved knowledgeable specialists from outside. During the program, we focused mainly on further refining our strategy and learning about the specific requirements of the U.S. market to prepare our successful market entry.
The German Accelerator Life Sciences team and the external mentors supported us in areas that were critically important for our success at that time – not only with regards to the U.S. strategy for Protembis but also in our funding efforts.
Can you please share success factors, lessons learned, or mistakes that other companies in the program should avoid?
Companies in the program should have a clear idea of what they want to take out of it. They should invest resources in spending some time on site in Cambridge, MA to fully absorb the benefit that can be taken out of the German Accelerator Life Sciences program.
Where does your company stand today (e.g. office(s) on-site, employees, customers, partners, funding/exit, etc.)?
We have recently closed a large series A financing round and plan to open a U.S. office towards the end of next year. Among the investors in this round is also a large U.S. medical device corporate.
Background on the company:
Protembis is an Aachen, Germany based medical device startup. It develops a novel catheter-based filter device for use during cardiac interventions. The device is designed to minimize the risk of stroke and other neurological injuries during these interventions – particularly during catheter-based heart valve implantations. The filter blocks embolic debris from entering the blood vessels leading to the brain. The initial safety and feasibility of the ProtEmbo® device have been demonstrated in a first-in-human study in 2017/ 2018. The imaging data of the study suggests that the ProtEmbo® device decreases the risk of brain injury by up to 90%. Protembis has recently closed a $10M oversubscribed Series A financing round and expects to bring its product to market maturity with this round. The team plans to conduct further clinical studies in heart centers in Europe and the U.S. and wants to bring the ProtEmbo® device to market.