Series: Portfolio companies introduce themselves: SIS Medical AG
We would like to introduce you to the SHS portfolio companies in a new series. We start with SIS Medical AG, a leading Swiss manufacturer of balloon catheters for interventional dillatation of the coronary vessels. Dr Sergej Kammerzell has been CEO at SIS for two years; he is a human physician and holds a doctorate in the field of cardiology.
Dr Kammerzell, what does the SIS do?
Dr Sergej Kammerzell: SIS has been developing and producing high-end balloon catheters for the dilation of coronary vessels for 15 years. Our latest product, which has just received FDA approval, is the OPN NC® Twin Wall Super High Pressure PTCA Balloon. The OPN NC® is the only balloon catheter in the world with a twin wall and can therefore withstand pressures of 35 atm or (better:) bar. Unlike other products, the OPC NC® holds its shape, which virtually eliminates the possibility of accidental injury to the vessel wall. This product has already been successfully used in 100,000 patients in Europe and is particularly suitable for severely calcified or non-expandable lesions, chronic total occlusions (CTO) or in-stent restenosis. Also unrivalled is our NIC Nano Balloon with a maximum diameter of 0.85 mm. No one in the world is able to produce such a small balloon catheter. Our success is based on our innovative strength. That is why we invest a lot of capital and manpower here.
What are SIS’s goals for the next three years?
Dr Sergej Kammerzell: Our first priority is the market launch of the OPN NC® Twin Wall in the USA. The FDA approval is a great success. But that is only the beginning. Now the real work of market introduction begins. In 2023 we plan to enter the Chinese market and from 2024 we want to establish ourselves in the Japanese market. On the product side, we are in the process of developing balloon catheters for dillatation of vessels in the legs. Peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAVD) is an increasing problem, especially in ageing societies. In the medium term, we are thinking about developing balloon catheters with cutting elements and drug coatings. We will not run out of ideas, you can be sure of that.
What distinguishes SHS as a medtech investor?
Dr Sergej Kammerzell: Quite clearly: the medical knowledge and the ability to familiarise oneself with our topics; that is a huge advantage. I had a completely different experience with private equity in a previous job. Our contacts at SHS know a lot about medical technology; Dr Zimmermann, for example, has a doctorate in natural sciences. In concrete terms, we benefit time and again from SHS’s strong network, in which suitable advisors are recommended to us in a targeted manner: for example, for approval in China or for the sensitive topic of reimbursement and pricing in the USA. What also suits me very well is SHS’s quick response time to enquiries and the speed with which decisions are made – without compromising on thoroughness.