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BaltSun: Five questions with Bill Niland, Harpoon Medical CEO

Friday, December 12, 2014

This Q&A originally appeared in The Baltimore Sun on December 12, 2014. Here is a brief excerpt. See link below for full story.

Within a year and a half of launching as a startup, Harpoon Medical's heart surgery device could be used on humans for the first time in a matter of weeks.

The Kent Island-based company expects doctors in Poland to employ it by the end of the year or early in 2015. The device is a tool for minimally invasive surgeries to repair the heart's mitral valve, developed by a doctor at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

It would cap a busy 2014 for Harpoon, during which CEO Bill Niland raised millions of dollars in investment, and at the end of which the company plans to move to new headquarters in the warehouse building at Camden Yards.

Here's what Niland, who previously founded medical device company Vapotherm in Stevensville, had to say about the progress and what's ahead.

It's been a busy year. How has it gone?

So far it's gone as planned. We incorporated the business in July of 2013, and in the first six months we raised $900,000 just to be able to start hiring and to do animal work, upgrade the device and such. Then back in January we decided to freeze the product design to get it ready for manufacturing. And most of my time was spent in the first part of 2014 lining up investors for the round we did in the summer. In August we closed a $3.6 million round. We have continued to do more animal work and moved toward what we call our early efficacy trials, which are your first human trials. The plan is to get those first human trials done in 2014.

Click here to read the entire Q&A with Bill Niland in The Baltimore Sun.