Approxima closed a € 1.6M seed financing round for the development
Milan, Italy, February 6, 2023
Approxima closed a € 1.6M seed financing round for the development of its minimally invasive
tricuspid valve repair technology and strengthens the team with both a new Chairman of the
Board and a CMO.
• The seed financing round was led by Panakès Partners alongside Club degli Investitori and a group
of business angels.
• The company announces the appointment of Umberto Pasquali as Chairman of the Board and Dr.
Paolo Denti as Chief Medical Officer.
Milan, Italy, February 6, 2023 – Approxima Srl announced today the closing of a € 1.6M seed financing
round. Approxima is an early stage MedTech startup, spin-off of Politecnico di Milano. Its mission is to
develop a minimally invasive tricuspid valve repair system based on a right ventricular reshaping
approach to treat patients with tricuspid regurgitation. The company was founded in 2020 by Michal
Jaworek, CEO, Edoardo Maroncelli, CTO, and two scientific advisors from Politecnico di Milano, Riccardo
Vismara and Gianfranco Beniamino Fiore. The seed round was led by Panakès Partners alongside Club
degli Investitori and other business angels, including Barbara Taddei and Carlo Alberto Marcoaldi. The
funds raised will be deployed to further advance the technology through pre-clinical testing and towards
Together with the funding the Company has recruited key team members with extensive experience in
Dr Paolo Denti has been appointed as CMO; he is a cardiac surgeon from San Raffaele Hospital (Milan,
Italy), a member of PCR Tricuspid Focus Group, European Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery, European
Society of Cardiology and European and Italian Societies of Interventional Cardiology. He is an expert in
minimally invasive cardiac surgery and an experienced operator in percutaneous technologies in aortic,
mitral and tricuspid fields. He served as a principal investigator in various clinical trials and has constantly
the honor of podium presentations at the most important international congresses as an invited speaker.
During his career he contributed to the preclinical development and served as an operator in First in
Human trials of innovative percutaneous technologies (e.g. Tricinch, Saturn and Mitral Shortcut).
Umberto Pasquali has been appointed as Chairman of the Board; he brings over 20 years of experience
in business development, project management, operations and finance in medical devices field acquired
in executive-level positions at Lima Corporate and LivaNova.
“I am excited by Approxima’s unique technology which goes to the root of the problem by addressing the
ventricular dilation rather than the pathology (Tricuspid Regurgitation). With minimally invasive
implantation, post-operative adjustment features and a low footprint, we believe that Approxima device
could become a treatment of choice for the 13 million people worldwide who are affected by at least
moderate TR and who, for the vast majority (>99%), are left untreated” said Umberto Pasquali.
Barbara Castellano will join the Board as Director, representing Panakès Partners. Barbara brings a deep
expertise in the cardiovascular space as well as a broad knowledge of the medical devices sector, acquired
as former Director of Clinical Affairs, Certifications, Registrations and Quality Assurance at CID SpA (now
Alvimedica) and as former Director of Business Development & former Global Marketing Director for the
Heart Valves at Sorin (now LivaNova).
“Approxima is working to develop a new and smart concept to treat a complex and very diffused
pathology. We at Panakès are proud and excited to give support to the development and formation of the
next generation technologies and entrepreneurs” said Barbara Castellano.
“This investment confirms the Club's growing focus towards innovative Medtech startups. We greatly
appreciated the energy and ideas of the founders, the rapid expansion of a qualified team and the strong
role of a specialized investor like Panakès. As Club degli Investitori, we count on contributing to a rapid and
effective development roadmap thanks to the industry experience of our network of members and in
particular thanks to the skills of our "champions": Alice Ravizza, a professional with strong know-how in
the medtech and biotech regulatory field, and Angelo Italiano, a highly experienced manager” said Andrea
Rota, Managing Director of the Club degli Investitori.
About tricuspid regurgitation
Tricuspid regurgitation is a pathology of the aging society which affects over 13 million patients worldwide
and represents an unmet clinical need. In more than >70% of cases tricuspid regurgitation is related to
right ventricle dilation causing papillary muscle dislodgement leading to tricuspid valve leaflets tethering
Patients are usually frail, often hospitalized, with poor quality of life, and the pathology is associated with
a 2-year mortality rate of 50%. Chronic volume and pressure overload progresses towards right heart
failure which worsens the prognosis. Today, nearly 99% of tricuspid regurgitation patients are denied an
open-heart surgery because of high mortality risk.
Approxima was founded in 2020 and is an early stage MedTech startup, spin-off from Politecnico di
Milano. The mission of the company is to develop a minimally invasive tricuspid valve repair system to
treat patients with tricuspid valve regurgitation. The system allows reshaping of the right ventricle directly
counteracting the right heart dilation. The device is intended to be implanted in the heart of a patient via
minimally invasive procedure guided by medical imaging under beating heart conditions.
The company is conducting preclinical feasibility phase studies to demonstrate in-vivo feasibility, efficacy,
The offices of the company are located in Milan, Italy, and the company is virtually incubated at
Bioindustry Park Silvano Fumero SpA.
About Panakès Partners
Panakès Partners is the leading Italian venture capital firm in the Life Sciences sector, with the ultimate
goal of providing a better life to people all around the world, by providing both financial and business
support to build the next generation of game-changing technology companies in the field of Life Sciences.
Panakès invests in ambitious start-ups and SMEs with innovative products globally, with a focus on Europe
About Club degli Investitori
Club degli Investitori is an association, composed of entrepreneurs, executives and professionals who
invest in startups and scaleups founded mainly by Italian entrepreneurs. Club Members are forward-
thinking business angels constantly looking for capable, innovative entrepreneurs with global ambitions.
An investment by the Club is much more than a financial commitment: it implies the involvement of a
group of people whose network of contacts and experience is worth much more than the capital itself.
The Club has more than 300 Members who have invested 43 million euros in 60 companies, including
Satispay, Genenta Science, D-Orbit, Everli, Newcleo, Tevel, Kither Biotech, Planet Smart City, and Electra