Business Wire

HighLife Appoints Jose Calle Gordo as Chairman of the Board


HighLife SAS, a medtech company focused on the development of a unique trans-catheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) system to treat patients suffering from mitral regurgitation, announced today the appointment of Mr. Jose (“Pepe”) Calle Gordo as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Pepe brings 30 years of broad business and management experience in the medical device industry, having served in various executive and managerial roles at Biosensors, Abbott, Guidant and Eli Lilly.

Up to recently, he was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Biosensors, where he last served as Executive Director and CEO. During his tenure, based in Singapore, he turned around the company’s operating performance, forged strategic alliances and worked with the largest shareholder to successfully privatize and delist the company in order to create a 1$Bn value global player in interventional cardiology.

He previously led the global team that developed Xience™, a family of drug eluting stents and market leader for the treatment of coronary artery disease while serving as Vice President and General Manager of Drug Eluting Stents, Vascular Intervention at Guidant based in California.

As Vice President of Abbott Vascular based in Brussels, he later managed the international operations of Abbott Vascular outside of the US and led globally the commercial introduction of MitraClip™, a percutaneous treatment for mitral valve repair.

Mr. Calle Gordo graduated from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering.

“I am delighted to join the HighLife team, I look forward to supporting the company and the board to make the HighLife mitral valve a reality for patients who can benefit from TMVR.” said Pepe.

Based in Paris (France), HighLife was started in 2010 by Georg Börtlein. Following the recent investment in HighLife from Sofinnova Partners, Antoine Papiernik joined the company’s board.

“We are excited to have Pepe Calle Gordo join the company as its Chairman. His long experience and track record in the interventional cardiology field is second to none.” said Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners.

“I am honored and thrilled we could attract a chairman with the talent and experience of Pepe. His perfect and global understanding of structural heart and his ability in building operations come at an ideal moment in our company’s development stage.” said Georg Börtlein.

The HighLife technology relies on the initial placement of a ring component around the native mitral leaflets in a reversible manner. Once this first component’s position is confirmed, the bioprosthesis is delivered within minutes through the ring and finds its natural position inside the native annulus regardless of the access site. This approach allows for trans-septal access and delivery of the bioprosthesis after navigating up the femoral vein and reaching the native mitral valve via a puncture through the inter-atrial septum. Such route alleviates the need for a trans-apical puncture in the weakened heart muscle and is favored by physicians because further trauma to the patients is avoided.

Contact information

Georg Börtlein, Tel : +33 (0)1 72 32 21 15
Website :
Anne Rein, Tel: +33 6 03 35 92 05

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