Who We Are
InnovHeart, with locations in Milan, Italy, and Boston, Massachusetts, develops transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) systems to treat patients suffering from mitral valve disease.
The company is currently in clinical trials testing its novel TMVR Saturn Prosthesis, designed to be consistent with the anatomy of the mitral valve. Saturn is a low-profile prosthetic designed for both Trans-apical and Trans-septal delivery.
InnovHeart was founded in 2015 by Giovanni Righini, CTO & Board Member, with the support of Genextra S.p.A.
Our company mission is to bring patients a novel therapeutic system suitable to replace incompetent Mitral Valves based on a safe, effective, and easy-to-use transcatheter technology. InnovHeart is committed to pursuing this goal with the highest level of quality.
Board of Directors
Keith D. DAWKINS – Chairman of the Board
Keith has more than 35 years of experience as both a practicing physician and an executive within the medical device industry. From 2012 to 2017 Keith served as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer at Boston Scientific. His responsibilities included overseeing the clinical function for all six Divisions, as well as leading Medical Affairs in Europe and Latin America, Health Economics in Europe, and Pre-Clinical Sciences for the company. Before that, Keith served as Senior Vice President and CMO for the Boston Scientific Cardiology Rhythm and Vascular Group.
Prior to joining Boston Scientific, Keith was a practicing interventional cardiologist for over 20 years in the U.K. He was President of the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society (2000 – 2004), and member of the Interventional Procedure Advisory Committee (IPAC) with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for a period of four years. Keith earned a First-Class Honours degree in Pathology at London University and Guy’s Hospital. He trained in cardiology at Oxford and at the Royal Brompton and St. George’s Hospital in London.
Barbara has been Principal at Panakes Partners for the last 5 years. Previously She was founder and CEO of Techwald SPA, a financial holding. She has a strong knowledge of cardiovascular 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 & Global Marketing Director for the Heart Valves Business Unit at Sorin (now Livanova). Barbara holds a Msc in Medicinal Chemistry and Technology from University of Perugia and an executive MBA from SDA Bocconi.
Federica is the Director of Business Development at Genextra, which she joined in 2006. Before joining Genextra, Federica was at Windham Venture Partners, NYC, and prior to that was with Science and Technology Ventures, Columbia University’s tech transfer office. Previously, she was a postdoc at the MRC in Cambridge (UK) and was published in several journals. Federica holds an MBA from Columbia University and a PhD in Biochemistry from La Sapienza, University of Rome.
Paolo has been Genextra’s chief financial officer since its inception in 2004, from 2019 he is the chief executive officer and he has served as a member of the board of directors of Genextra’s portfolio companies. In particular, he is currently Chairman of Intercept Pharmaceutical, Member of the Board of Directors of Erydel and Targimmune Therapeutics AG, Managing Director of Congenia. In addition, Paolo is also a founder and a Board Member of the Italian Angels for Biotech. Before joining Genextra, Paolo was in charge of finance and strategic planning for Fastweb from 2000 to 2004. Previously, he worked in London for investment banks, including Salomon Smith Barney (now Citigroup) and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse). Paolo has a degree in Business Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
Azin is a highly accomplished medical device executive and serial entrepreneur. She has served as an advisor and board member to numerous emerging medtech companies as well as various academic boards. Currently Dr. Parhizgar is a senior Venture Partner at 415 Capital Management, a cardiovascular focused early-stage venture investment fund, Chairman of the board of CVPath Institute, Inc. and serves as a director at SoundBite Medical Inc., among other held positions. In her five-year tenure as the President and CEO of Claret Medical, an embolic protection company, Dr. Parhizgar led the venture-backed company to a successful global commercial launch with a subsequent acquisition in 2018 by Boston Scientific, Inc. Prior to Claret Medical, she was the COO of Conor Medsystems, a drug eluting Stent Company acquired by Johnson & Johnson, Inc. in 2007. Following Conor Medsystem’s acquisition, she remained with J&J for the following year to support the full integration of the company. Prior to Conor Medsystems Dr. Parhizgar was Senior Vice President at Arterial Vascular Engineering (AVE), which was acquired by Medtronic Inc. in 2000. She remained with Medtronic for the following two years as Executive Vice President of Emerging Ventures and New Technologies leading key investments in early stage companies for Medtronic Vascular division. Dr. Parhizgar earned both her Ph.D. in Cell, Gene and Tissue Engineering and her M.Sc. in Biomechanical Engineering and Artificial Organ Design from Brown University in Providence, RI, USA.
J. Brent RATZ – CEO
Brent is a successful medical device entrepreneur, executive and inventor with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He was the founding CEO, President and COO of CardiAQ Valve Technologies, a Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR) company acquired by Edwards Lifesciences (EW) in 2015 for $350M. Following the acquisition, Brent joined EW as VP R&D TMVR to support the integration, the US Early Feasibility trial and next generation development.
Brent is also the co-founder and Managing Director of inQB8 Medical Technologies, a holding company creating novel cardiovascular health technologies. He is a named inventor on more than 24 medical device patents and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Access Vascular, Inc. He earned his BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Masters in Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Giovanni RIGHINI – Founder
Giovanni has over 30 years of experience in bringing innovative implantable cardiac devices from feasibility to market, as well as an extensive track record in successful R&D project execution. Giovanni has more than 30 patent applications in Transcatheter Heart Valve replacement. Giovanni was formerly founder of HT-Consultant, VP R&D at Symetis SA, R&D Director at Sorin Group. He holds a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Pisa, Italy.