S1E1: 'Meet the Innovators' - Lucy O'Keeffe, CEO, CroíValve

CroíValve Takes on the (No Longer) Forgotten Valve

By Kayleen Brown, Executive Editor, MedTech Strategist Broadcasting Network


Meet Lucy O’Keeffe, PhD. Lucy is CEO of CroíValve (pronounced cree-valve after the Gaelic word for heart), a Dublin-based start-up focusing on the repair of the no-longer-forgotten-valve: the tricuspid valve.

Each year, more than 550,000 new patients worldwide develop Tricuspid Regurgitation (TR), a progressive condition in which the atrioventricular valve in the right side of the heart fails. Frustratingly, there are only two treatments: medication and surgery, yet less than 1% of TR patients can undergo surgery due to the fact they tend to be very elderly and have multiple comorbidities; and medication doesn’t treat the illness, it only manages the symptoms in the short-term. “Truthfully,” says Lucy, “surgery is not an option for these patients.”

To understand the science behind the CroíValve technology and its solution for the repair of functioning tricuspid leaflets that don’t coapt, read our in-depth technology profile: “CroíValve: Solution for Tricuspid Regurgitation Supports the Native Valve” by Mary Stuart, Senior Writer/Analyst in the May 29th issue of MedTech Strategist with our compliments.

Lucy, an alumna of both the University of Limerick, with a Ph.D. in Biomedical/Medical Engineering, and the Medtronic school of leadership joined CroíValve in 2016 as part of a four-member start-up executive team in an effort to give heart failure teams a suitable treatment option.

After leading the team through a 30-day chronic animal implant study, with very positive outcomes, Lucy sets her “croí” on even higher targets: getting the implant into humans by 2020. Though, she admits, "there are a lot of other elements and milestones before getting there." With a capital-intense project like CroíValve, the team is focused on closing a seed round of funding in the next six months and expanding their team. In her words, “the team is critical to the success of the project so [we] are looking to add to the great team we have, and to bring on more experience to accelerate the development of the project.”

CroíValve is well on its way to capturing a percentage of the €3 Billion tricuspid valve repair market share with a first-place win at the MedTech Innovator Pitch Event & Stage Competition that took place this April at MedTech Strategist’s Innovation Summit Dublin, Ireland, a global medical device investment and partnering conference. CroíValve will use its prize money to travel to the MedTech Innovator’s showcase at the AdvaMed 2018 MedTech Conference.

From the entire MedTech Strategist team, we offer Lucy, and the CroíValve team, a very croí-felt congratulations and best of luck!


Have comments on this post, or suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover in the Community Blog? Contact us at blog@medtechstrategist.com.

Further Reading in MedTech Strategist:

  • “Technologies to Watch in 2018, Part 1: Transcatheter Heart Valves - The Year of Big Data,” by MedTech Strategist Editorial Team

  • Transcatheter Heart Valves – “US Hospitals Prepare for TAVR Expansion into Intermediate-Risk Patients,” by Mary Thompson

  • ”Transcatheter Mitral: Not Your Father’s Aortic Market,” by Stephen Levin

  • “Transcatheter Mitral Valves: Big Opportunity, Big Challenges,” by Stephen Levin and Mary Thompson

  • “In Transcatheter Heart Valves, a Long Shot Pays Off: An Interview with Edwards Lifesciences CEO Mike Mussallem,” by David Cassak

  • “4C Medical Technologies: Transcatheter Mitral Valve Avoids Known Issues by Design," by Mary Stuart


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