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Eric Zi: Establishing an Enterprise, Starting from the “Heart”

Date:2016-11-18 20:54

Eric Zi used to print the title of "Management Partner" on his business card, with " DNV Capital ".
Although he has been in the field of implantable medical devices for more than 10 years, Eric Zi often attends various related occasions as an investor. "I feel like there's so much to do in the field of medical basis over the years," he said. “And DNV Capital has one of the biggest characteristics, which is always focusing on this solid demand. ”
Starting from the medical industry and then only "persisting in " investment in the medical industry have become Eric Zi’s style for many years. Now he wants to hatch more promising health care industries in the life tree he dominates over the years.
Start from the “heart”
On September 26th, 2014, in the national finals of the biopharmaceutical industry of the Third China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, Venus Medtech from Hangzhou Hi-Tech Zone (Binjiang) won the champion of the enterprise group.
What kind of project is this, How can it defeat other competitors like a dark horse in the professional competition of national level?
According to the introduction from Eric Zi, Management Partner of DNV Capital and Chairman of Venus Medtech, Venus Medtech is the first and only domestic enterprise that enters into China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA)’s clinical licensing of interventional valve enterprises. With the independent development of new biological aortic valve implantation equipment, the company has completed almost a hundred cases of clinical surgery and in June 2014 completed all the clinical trials in advance.
What is interventional valve technology? In fact, this terminology is not recognized by the outside world until Venus Medtech is emerging. Figuratively speaking, it is like opening a door to life on a heart valve for the patient. Because with the increase of age, heart valve degenerative change is the main cause of valvular disease, with the expressions like thickening, calcification and fusion of valve, and different degrees of heart valve stenosis and incomplete closure resulted from it. Once patients get valvular disease, symptoms like heart failure, angina, syncope and others may appear and even sudden cardiac death. It is understood that interventional aortic valve technology puts the 19Fr (about 6.3 mm) interventional catheter through the femoral artery, and delivers the prosthetic valve to the patient's aortic valve area for self-expanding, thus completing prosthetic valve implantation and restoring valve function. Thoracotomy is not needed, and the medical staff can clearly see the size of the valve and the process of replacement via the screen of the angiography machine during the operation.
They can also determine whether the replacement location is reasonable through the ultrasonic instrument to conduct real-time examination of surgical results. Patients would have small surgical trauma and rapid recovery after this surgery. "Patients having traditional surgery need about 30 days to recover, and now they can be discharged 7 days after operation." 
In fact, as early as 2006, Venus Medtech’s research and development team began the development of interventional aortic valve technology in laboratories in the United States.
“In Fuwai Hospital, we carried out the first domestic heart valve replacement, then the patient's life hangs by a thread and it would be death-threatening if the surgery is performed one hour later. The patient gets very good health after the operation. “ Eric Zi introduced.
In the course of the clinical trial, Venus Medtech invited Horst Sievert, the expert of cardiology from Germany to come to China to perform the surgery and guide the domestic doctors, "In order to guide our technology, he travelled to China for more than 40 times and he also received the Bethune Medal in 2015."  With the supports and efforts of many parties, Venus Medtech continues to sum up experience and improve technology." Eventually, all the clinical trials were completed with the success rate exceeding96%.
This is the first clinical trial of transcatheter valvular disease in China and has been successful for the first time.
The interventional aortic valve for Venus Medtech was also demonstrated in a real-time surgery at the 26th session of American Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT 2014) held in Washington, D.C. As the conference is the world's most authoritative and leading cardiovascular industry conference, the surgical demonstration of the valve at the conference marks the recognition of international cardiovascular industry of Venus Medtech’s devices. In addition, the interventional aortic valve from Venus Medtech was also demonstrated at the 13th session of China Interventional Therapeutics (CIT2015) and Catheter Interventions in Congenital & Structural Heart Disease (CSI 2015) and other authoritative conferences in the industry.
According to Eric Zi, at present, the independently developed new biological aortic valve implantation device from Venus Medtech has been used in the completion of more than 100 cases of clinical surgery, finishing domestic clinical trial stage in advance and entering the green channel for the approval of China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).
At the same time, Venus Medtech also embarked on the journey of internationalization. Since July 2014 in London's St. Thomas's hospital, the successful implantation with the first pulmonary valve started Venus Medtech’s clinical registration study in Europe, the company has completed nearly 10 cases of clinical surgery till now. 
Today, Venus Medtech has developed into the only Chinese company to enter human clinical trials phase in China and Europe.
In the development of interventional aortic valve technology, Venus Medtech also starts the research and development of interventional pulmonary valve technology. "This technique is mainly used for children, and there will be significant breakthroughs in the treatment of congenital heart disease." According to Eric Zi, currently interventional pulmonary valve implantation equipment has also entered the clinical stage, and it is expected to be put on the market together with the interventional aortic valve replacement devices.
The “incubator” on the tree of health and life
Behind the continuous pioneering and innovation of Venus Medtech, there is a strong team of research, development and operation. The company includes a technology team made up of medical doctors, clinicians, valve and cardiac catheter research experts and materials experts, with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary combination and a wealth of experience in cardiac interventional devices.  
As the leader of Venus Medtech, Eric Zi went from Hefei to Shanghai after graduating with his master’s degree in 1998, and found a job with a monthly salary of RMB 1500 yuan in medical device research and development. Since then, he started his entrepreneurial life. This company, Shanghai MicroPort Medical (Group) Co., Ltd. (the associated company of MicroPort Scientific Corporation), has now become the leading company in the field of domestic coronary drug stent products. In 2003, he headed south to Shenzhen to establish LifeTech Scientific Corporation, a company aimed at interventional treatment of congenital heart disease. During this period, he accompanied the development of LifeTech to become the world's second largest provider of congenital heart disease intervention treatment.
In 2009, Eric Zi started again and settled in Hangzhou High-tech Zone (Binjiang) in a low profile, with capital and technical team,  to establish Venus Medtech. So far the company has been leading and participating in the design of the first generation of coronary artery PTCA balloon, coronary stent and aortic aneurysm stent, and the research of the first generation of interventional therapy occluder for congenital heart disease in China, inferior vena cava thrombus filter, and the left atrial appendage occlusion device for the prevention of stroke. The company has successfully introduced those products into the international market. It also participated in the research of the interventional aortic valve of Venus Medtech and currently is the first company in China to complete the product’s SFDA registration for clinical research. Eric Zi has 30 domestic and foreign patents, and has presided over and participated in a total of 28 national and local government’s research projects. 
In 2011, Hong formally withdrew from LifeTech and fully operated DNV Innovation Incubation Center. In order to avoid the drawback that the emerged incubation projects had to find funds elsewhere, in 2012, Eric Zi founded DNV Capital as its founder, and DNV aimed at investing medical device enterprises in start-up and development period, especially excellent and revolutionarily innovative enterprises for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and others.
"The incubation concept of DNV Capital is that every technology is a disruptive technology, it must be the technology from 0 to 1 , and never the follower of technology. At the very least, all the incubated technology is absolutely the top in domestic market. “ Eric Zi expressed that at present, DNV capital’s investment in the health industry projects include  7 projects like repair technology for human mitral valve, tricuspid valve, cardiac arrhythmia, anti-vibration technology and others. And he sets up the corresponding company for each project as an operational entity.
After the entitlement of “Who is the strong investment company in health care industry in 2014? ", DNV Capital continues to devote itself to cultivating the tree of health and life.  As Eric Zi said, "I only invest in industries related to health care because I only understand this industry.”
In fact, Eric Zi is trying to hatch more relevant health-care companies in the health tree of life cultivated by himself. 
"My entrepreneurial path is very clear, which circles around the biggest solid demand ‘life-saving’. For ordinary people, in addition to eating, survival is the greatest solid demand. Grasp the most solid market demand, is tantamount to seizing the entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of medical technology.” Eric Zi said.
This article is reproduced from China High-Tech Industry Herald

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