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Sofinnova MD Start

BrightHeart announces €2 million in seed financing from Sofinnova Partners to improve the detection of fetal heart abnormalities

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MD Start

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Cécile Dupont

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Paris, France, May, 31, 2023BrightHeart, a Paris-based medical technology company developing unique artificial intelligence software focused on improving the detection of congenital heart defects in fetuses, announced today that it has raised €2 million in seed financing from Sofinnova Partners, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm based in Paris, London, and Milan. The funds are being deployed to bolster the development of the BrightHeart technology, prepare its regulatory submission(s), and facilitate the company’s expansion.

Combined with unique access to a proprietary database of more than 20,000 fetal ultrasound exams, BrightHeart’s innovative technology leverages AI and top-level expertise in fetal ultrasound cardiac imaging to help caregivers improve the detection of complex fetal heart defects in utero, during an ultrasound screening exam, when early interventions could either correct them or greatly improve a child's chance of survival. This is the fourth investment by Sofinnova's medtech acceleration fund, Sofinnova MD Start III.

Cécile Dupont, BrightHeart’s Chief Executive Officer and Partner at Sofinnova Partners, said: "Fetal ultrasound screening of the heart is universally recommended during pregnancy. Prenatal diagnosis of fetal heart defects can significantly improve newborn outcomes, but in practice, as few as 30% are detected. BrightHeart’s unique, AI-powered approach has the potential to revolutionize screening for congenital heart defects by supporting clinicians with a real-time, expert-level interpretation of one of the most complex exams in the ultrasound practice.”

BrightHeart has already brought together an experienced team in the fields of fetal cardiology, AI, and software development. This unique group is led by Chief Technology Officer Christophe Gardella, an accomplished data scientist and leader with extensive experience in the development of AI-powered medtech solutions who directed the algorithm efforts at Cardiologs.

Inspired by the company’s mission, the multidisciplinary team has made remarkable progress. Just a few months after its inception, the company is already finalizing a first version of its software, filed multiple patent applications in Europe and the U.S., engaged with regulatory authorities, and is actively working on the preparation of regulatory submissions for its first product in key geographies.

BrightHeart builds on an idea by Dr. Marilyne Levy and Dr. Bertand Stos, BrightHeart co-founders, fetal cardiologists, and leading experts in the sector. They bring a world-class expertise to the project as well as a large, qualified database of fetal heart ultrasound exams.

In a joint statement, Drs. Levy and Stos said: “BrightHeart's innovative approach addresses a major critical need. We are thrilled to count on operational, strategic, and financial support from Sofinnova MD Start III in this important commitment to accelerate the deployment of our technology in the clinic, and to improve maternal and fetal health.”

About BrightHeart

BrightHeart SAS is a Paris-based, privately held, pre-clinical medical device company and part of Sofinnova MD Start, Sofinnova Partners' medical device accelerator. The company’s software leverages the power of artificial intelligence to analyze fetal heart ultrasound exams and support clinicians with the prenatal identification of congenital heart defects. The technology aims to improve newborn outcomes by anticipating delivery care and early intervention.

BrightHeart builds on an idea by Dr. Marilyne Levy and Dr. Bertand Stos, two leading fetal cardiologists based in Paris, France.

About Sofinnova Partners

Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm in life sciences, specializing in healthcare and sustainability. Based in Paris, London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over the world with strong scientific, medical, and business expertise. Sofinnova Partners is a hands-on company builder across the entire value chain of life sciences investments, from seed to later-stage. The firm actively partners with ambitious entrepreneurs as a lead or cornerstone investor to develop transformative innovations that have the potential to positively impact our collective future.

Founded in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is a deeply established venture capital firm in Europe, with 50 years of experience backing over 500 companies and creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2.5 billion under management. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnovapartners.com.

For further information:

Cécile Dupont
Chief Executive Officer, BrightHeart

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