SEMMT Inc (SEMMT), a US-based medical device company, has received an investment award of $0.25 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF). As part of the TETF agreement, an extra $0.75 million has been reserved for the company if it achieves specific milestones. SEMMT is developing a set of tools and techniques to make left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation easily reproducible and less risky by eliminating the need for CPB, leading to an increase in LVAD utilization.
SEMMT’s technology consists of a surgical method and set of proprietary tools that allow the surgeon to implant an LVAD on a beating heart.
The SEMMT technology allows a lower-risk, off-pump LVAD implantation that:
Eliminates the need and added cost of CPB and lowers surgical complications Utilizes less-invasive surgical procedures and decreases both OR time and average length of stay.
Facilitating the implantation of existing LVADs, thus expanding the current market.
Potential strategic advantage to an existing LVAD maker to position against emerging less-invasive delivery methods.
According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in 2008, the US spent over $34.8 billion in the management of cardiovascular-related conditions.
According to the American Heart Association, heart failure affects over five million Americans with over 550,000 of them classified as class IV based on the New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification.
The low utilization of LVAD technology in 2008 is due in part to the perception that it is a procedure of last resort. This perception has been fueled by poor outcomes in some of the sickest heart failure patients. Currently, many patients in late stage heart failure being referred for LVAD implantation have some element of end-organ dysfunction such as liver, kidney, brain and lung disease. It is well known that cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), which is generally required for LVAD implantation, can exacerbate end organ dysfunction, resulting in morbidity and even mortality.
“Our technology is an enabler and should accelerate the adoption and application of LVADs across the cardiovascular surgery community,” said Mr. Morcho, President of SEMMT, Inc. “The TETF funds will help us accomplish key milestones and have our surgical kits ready for market by early 2011.”