ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 10, 2014) – Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown today announced that the Maryland Venture Fund (MVF), DBED’s venture capital arm, has invested $500,000 in Harpoon Medical Inc., the developer of a minimally invasive device to repair mitral heart valves. With the investment, the Stevensville company aims to replace three to six hours of open-heart surgery with a 60-minute, closed-chest procedure and reduce recovery time from several weeks to a matter of days. The Series A financing was led by Maryland-based Epidarex Capital and will result in up to $3.75 million in new capital for the company. The State’s portion was made with funds raised by InvestMaryland, an initiative of Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration that spurs growth and development of small, high-tech companies in Maryland.

“Maryland supports high-tech startup companies that are moving our economy forward, creating jobs, and expanding opportunity,” Gov. O’Malley said. “Harpoon Medical is a prime example of the exciting, innovative young companies that are thriving in Maryland’s medical device sector, improving patient care and, ultimately, saving lives.”

“Our InvestMaryland program helps cutting-edge Maryland businesses grow and stay in our state,” added Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “By investing in entrepreneurs and startups like Harpoon Medical, we’re helping create Middle Class jobs while laying the foundation for the next generation of innovative businesses in Maryland.”

“We are very happy that the Maryland Venture Fund decided to invest in Harpoon Medical and are extremely grateful for all the support the company has received from the State of Maryland and organizations throughout the state focused on helping early-stage life science companies,” said Bill Niland, Harpoon’s CEO and a serial healthcare entrepreneur. “There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to secure regulatory approval and transform Harpoon Medical into a commercially viable business but we would not be where we are today without early support from organizations like BioMaryland and TEDCO. By leveraging their support, Maryland Venture Fund’s investment and the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit program, Harpoon was able to secure the funding that will be necessary to advance this innovative technology into the clinic.”

Harpoon Medical is a development-stage medical device company commercializing a minimally invasive, image-guided surgical tool for beating heart mitral valve repair. The technology was developed in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at The University of Maryland School of Medicine. With the Harpoon device, surgeons will be able to access and repair the mitral valve in a beating heart through a small incision between the ribs without the need for cardiac arrest or cardiopulmonary bypass. The tool is designed to enter the left ventricle transapically and insert “bulky knot” neochords in the valve leaflet to eliminate mitral regurgitation. The investment round, which exceeded the company’s original fundraising target, was structured to benefit from Maryland’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit. Harpoon Medical was also a finalist in the second InvestMaryland Challenge.

Created by Governor O’Malley and passed by the General Assembly in 2011, InvestMaryland is a public-private partnership between the State and venture capital firms. It raised $84 million to spur growth in small, high-tech Maryland companies and is the largest venture capital investment initiative in Maryland’s history. Two-thirds of the funding – $56 million – is being managed by carefully screened private venture firms that will invest the funds and, if successful, return 100% of the principal and 80% of the profits to the State’s general fund. The remaining third of the InvestMaryland capital is largely allocated to direct investments by the state-run MVF.

The Maryland Venture Fund is a regionally recognized leader in seed and early-stage investing and a national model for state-supported investment programs. With nearly two decades of experience and numerous successful investments, MVF invests in highly innovative technology companies across the full range of industry sectors including software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences companies in the areas of healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics.

About DBED

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. For more information, visit