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As many Western organizations are increasingly hesitant in their relations with Chinese partners, Eindhoven-based Xeltis is striking a big deal. For 15 million euros, the Grand Pharmaceutical Group receives not only shares, but also commercial and development rights. For Xeltis, it is the first commercial deal in its existence.

Xeltis, a medtech company developing polymer-based restorative cardiovascular devices gets financial support from the Chinese company, Grand Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. The Chinese have committed to invest €15 million in equity and license fees, as a cornerstone funding for its ongoing Series D2 financing round.

The Grand Pharma commitment comprises an equity investment and product license, representing Xeltis’ first commercial deal and its first funding from an Asian company. The agreement, which focuses mainly on Xeltis’ restorative hemodialysis access device aXess, also involves other new products in the field of hemodialysis developed under the same technology platform. Grand Pharma will also have exclusive rights of development, production and commercialization, and pre-emptive negotiation right for Xeltis’ products developed in other indications in the Greater China region.

“Grand Pharma’s commitment to invest in Xeltis brings global validation of aXess’ commercial potential from one of the largest Chinese life sciences companies, from the country with the most significant need of hemodialysis access globally,” said Eliane Schutte, Xeltis CEO. “It confirms the strength of our technology platform and clinical evidence to date, and supports our goal of providing potentially more durable, transformative restorative devices for patients worldwide.”

Schutte says aXess is a first-of-its-kind restorative cardiovascular access graft for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) requiring hemodialysis. China has the most significant number of CKD patients in the world, accounting for about 130 million people, of which around 580,000 are currently on hemodialysis. The number of people on hemodialysis in China is projected to increase by 15 percent in the next five years.

“Grand Pharma is building an interventional diagnosis and treatment platform for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in China,” Grand Pharmaceutical Group CEO, Frank Zhou added. “Xeltis’ aXess device would represent an excellent addition to the scope of our broad portfolio and expected to bring significant clinical impact in China.”

The aXess graft enables early puncturing, or the initiation of dialysis, working like some of the currently available ePTFE synthetic hemodialysis access grafts. In addition, it is designed to turn into a patient’s own living blood vessel, like an arteriovenous fistula. Once implanted, its biocompatible, porous micro- structure gets naturally colonized by the patient’s own tissue, which over time takes over functionality before the original device absorbs in the body. This process is called endogenous tissue restoration (ETR).