The American Heart Association says that heart disease remains the top killer around the world, causing 17.3 million deaths each year including heart attacks and stroke. As countries develop and adopt more Western diets and lifestyles (and waistlines) the problem gets dramatically worse. Add to this aging baby boomers and longer lifespans and aging populations in most major countries and you have a recipe for a global health and economic catastrophe. They expect that to rise to more than 23.6 million deaths every year by 2030. That is nearly as many people as live in Australia.
For many, the solution is open heart surgery and over 6000 doctors perform over 1.5M of them a year. Open heart surgery is a major invasive surgical procedure. Patients spend months recovering and, in the US, each heart surgery costs $30,000 to over $200,000 depending on the type of surgery.
One alternative to surgery is stenting where a surgeon uses wire to place tubes in arteries that force them open. Stenting is much less invasive and typically an outpatient procedure. But current stents have trouble with branches between two or more arteries (bifurcations) and can be difficult to place precisely and can slip. Misaligned stents can fail.
One company hoping to change all that is Advanced Bifurcation Systems (ABS). CEO Charles Laverty and Advanced Bifurcation Systems have developed a platform that they hope could allow a lot more doctors to use heart stents to keep open arteries and that could mean fewer open heart surgeries.
The stenting system developed by Advanced Bifurcation Systems is self-aligning and orienting which allows a surgeon to place stents into both the mother and daughter vessels of a bifurcation at the same time, using a dual catheter system.
Laverty says that ABS hopes this will mean more stenting and fewer surgeries. Their system can be performed as a day surgery and a patient could be in and out of a medical facility in a matter of hours. That would simplify the job for doctors, improve outcomes for patients and reduce the burden on the whole healthcare system.
This new method is the result of 20 years of research by co-founders, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mehran Khorsandi and CTO, Henry Bourang.
The first tranche of fundraising was recently closed, and the company announced it will next be raising $20M.
The company will be opening a facility In New Brunswick which will serve ABS’s customers globally upon successful completion of the human trials and regulatory approval. ABS announced plans for human trials in New Brunswick, Canada and other Canadian Provinces whilst simultaeously identifying additional clinical sites in the United States and Europe.
Advanced Bifurcation Systems is currently developing plans for submission to the FDA and other regulatory agencies. The next critical step for the company is requesting approval and the company is developing all required processes for the respective regulatory agencies.