This article was originally published in Start Up
David Melvin, MD, a cardiovascular surgeon turned biomedical engineer has created a large patent portfolio of cardiac devices and components covering novel solutions to sticky problems. CardioEnergetics was founded to commercialize his current and future inventions. The company's lead product is a ventricular assist device that lies outside the blood path to avoid clotting and stroke.
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Looking for larger patient populations, the newer CHF device companies position their products as early intervention tools that can perhaps delay or halt the progression of the disease.
The striking results of the REMATCH trial, demonstrating the efficacy of Thoratec's ventricular assist device to extend the life of terminal heart failure patients, is heartening clinicians and patients and opening up new markets for ventricular assist device manufacturers. Thoratec still faces FDA and reimbursement hurdles before its devices become long-term therapies in large volumes of patients. Meanwhile, the competition hopes to profit from the precedent-breaking REMATCH results, and overtake Thoratec's lead with claims of technological superiority in the long-term heart assist market.
David Melvin, MD, a cardiac transplant surgeon who started and built the heart transplant program at the University Hospital, Cincinnati, took a sabbatical in 1991 to research and invent devices for congestive heart failure. His efforts resulted in several patented devices, among them the CardioClasp. CardioClasp is a simple, passive device that is designed to surround a patient's failing heart, to geometrically remodel it and correct for the pathological increase in size that congestive heart failure causes.