Who will be the next Medtronic? What will be Minnesota's next breakthrough industry? James Walsh will provide the latest information and commentary on the people, companies and trends driving innovation in Minnesota. From visionary entrepreneurs to game changing technologies, this blog offers a window into the future of Minnesota's economy.
St. Teresa Medical, a medical-device startup from Maple Grove, competes tonight in the final round of "Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash." Folks can watch the stream at 7 p.m. Central Time and cast votes for their favorite startup at www.Kauffman.org/GITR.
The company is commercializing a new technology called FASTCLOT that stops bleeding more quickly and has less potential for adverse side effects than current products, according to company officials.
FASTCLOT combines a fiber dressing “delivery system” with two human-derived clot-forming proteins. When applied, the dressing rapidly dissolves and speeds the formation of a clot over a bleeding injury. It is also quickly absorbed. Other such products are either applied as a patch or with a syringe, making them less user-friendly for the surgeon, St. Teresa said. The product can be used in surgical, trauma, dental, veterinary, military and consumer applications.
The company has conducted 12 pre-clinical studies. Two FASTCLOT products are being used on dogs and horses with “excellent results,” officials said. The company anticipates European regulatory approval for human use in mid-2014 and in the United States in early 2016.
St. Teresa Medical was founded 2010. The company is one of eight organizations from seven states facing off in the final round tonight. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is hosting the first-ever U.S. competition and will live stream the competition for the title of America’s most promising entrepreneur.
A cash prize of $10,000 will be awarded to the top U.S. finisher; $5,000 will go to the runner-up. Online viewers will be able to vote for the "audience favorite" via a special URL to be announced during the event.
In addition to the cash prize, the startup named U.S. champion will travel the next day to the Nov. 22 Get in the Ring global finals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. That entrepreneur will face seven other international finalists, selected from 30 participating nations, for a chance to secure angel investment from a potential pool of €1,000,000, or approximately $1.3 million.
The U.S. finalists were selected from 283 applicants from around the country. They are:
Drazil Foods, Edina, Minn.
EyeVerify, Kansas City, Kan.
MANA Nutrition, Matthews, N.C.
POPVOX, Redwood City, Calif.
St. Teresa Medical, Inc., Maple Grove.
Travefy, Lincoln, Neb.
weeSpring, New York
Get in the Ring was founded in 2009 by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands to bring the world's most promising entrepreneurs together with those who can help them succeed and to inspire others to start their entrepreneurial journeys. The international finals are held each November during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
According to research presented by Medtronic Monday, pacemakers with enhanced pacing features have the ability to slow the progression of atrial fibrillation in patients with bradycardia, or a slow heartbeat.
Presented as a late breaking clinical trial at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013 in Dallas, Tex., the MINERVA study found that Medtronic pacemakers with advanced pacing features -- an algorithm that promotes a more natural heartbeat in the right ventricle and one that paces to restore a normal atrial rhythm -- were able to significantly reduce the incidence of death, cardiovascular hospitalizations or permanent atrial fibrillation compared to pacemakers without these features.
"By addressing atrial fibrillation, which is the most common cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice, our study is the first to demonstrate that pacemakers with enhanced pacing features can significantly reduce the progression of this dangerous condition," said Luigi Padeletti, professor of cardiology at the University of Florence, Florence, Italy, and principal investigator of the MINERVA study. "We know that AF has been associated with a higher risk of heart failure, stroke and death, so slowing down the progression of this disease may help reduce a patient's risk of suffering these life-threatening conditions."
For more information about the study, go to: http://phoenix.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=76126&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1877870&highlight=
To encourage visibility about his company's cause, developing needed medical devices for children, the founder and CEO of DesignWise Medical decided to get on his feet and walk. On Thursday, Nov. 14, Brad Slaker walked 100 km, about 62 miles, to raise money and awareness. His Walk4Kids coincided with Give to the Max Day in Minnesota.
He started his walk at midnight in the Long Lake area and hit sidewalks and bike trails on his journey. His goal was to complete the walk in 24 hours. He visited local children's hospitals and other organizations that partner with DesignWise.
"I wanted this first walk to reflect the fact that many children with health needs and their families often feel alone with their struggles. I am starting this walk alone with little pre-publicity but with your support throughout the day and beyond we will together send the message that these children and families are not alone," Slaker said.
On Friday, Slaker sent out the following message:
"Whew! What a day. Thank you! We are humbled by your generosity! We raised $5,301.88, through 42 donors."
He finished his walk in 22 hours.
For more informaton about DesignWise, go to: http://www.designwisemedical.org
In the wake of our recent project looking at medical devices going into younger patients, I thought this was worth sharing.
NORD Salutes Congress for Passing Pediatric Research Bill!
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) congratulates the U.S. Congress for passing a bill to promote medical research on pediatric diseases and, in particular, on rare diseases affecting children.
The bill, which was strongly supported by NORD and its more than 200 member organizations, was introduced in Congress by Representative Lois Capps (CA) and Senator Sherrod Brown (OH). It was approved earlier in the House of Representatives and this week in the Senate.
Called the National Pediatric Research Network Act, the bill will now go to President Obama for his signature. It is designed to ensure that investment by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in pediatric research optimizes resources through enhanced partnerships and data-sharing among research institutions.
"NORD applauds Representative Capps and Senator Brown for their leadership and the entire U.S. Congress for addressing this very important issue," said NORD President and CEO Peter L. Saltonstall. "In the rare disease community, we see many children and families affected by devastating diseases for which there are no treatments. Optimizing and encouraging research on pediatric diseases is of critical importance to NORD and our members."
Medtronic announced on Thursday that a German court has ordered the discontinuation of a prior court ruling that prohibited the Fridley-based company from marketing or selling its CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve replacement system in Germany.
Medtronic had been prohibited from selling CoreValve in Germany since August 26, after a lower German court ruled that Medtronic infringed on a patent by Edwards Lifesciences. Edwards also makes a transcatheter aortic valve.
But, on Thursday, a higher German court ruled that, because of a preliminary opinion by the European Patent Office that Edwards’ patent claims are not valid, it could not assume that the Edwards patent is valid. Essentially, the higher court decided to discontinue enforcing the earlier patent infringement ruling.
“Medtronic is very pleased with this decision as it will ensure that patients in Germany who need aortic valve replacement will have access to this life-saving therapy,” said John Liddicoat, M.D., senior vice president, Medtronic, and president of the Medtronic Structural Heart Business. “As a result of the ruling, Medtronic will resume distribution of the CoreValve System in Germany.”
Medtronic said it will post a required bond as soon as possible and resume sales in Germany.
CoreValve is not yet commercially available in the United States. Medtronic officials expect CoreValve to win U.S. regulatory approval sometime in 2014. Edwards’ Sapien transcatheter aortic valve is currently the only such valve approved for use in the U.S., and only for patients considered extreme risk for open heart surgery.
Last month, Boston Scientific announced European approval of its Lotus transcatheter valve. Last year, St. Jude hit the European market with its Portico valve.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement allows doctors to insert a new valve into the heart by snaking a catheter up into the patient through an artery in the leg or through an incision in the upper body. It is a much less invasive procedure than open heart surgery and patients can be home from the hospital within a couple of days, instead of weeks after the procedure.