Houston, Texas-based startup Procyrion, Inc. has been selected as one of the semi finalists for the 7th Universal Biotech Innovation Prize 2015, for the development of the Aortix™ heart pump system for patients with chronic heart failure. There are currently 17 finalist life science projects that were selected from a total of over 280 applications, and the winners will be announced on October 5, in Paris, France.
The Innovation Prize organization, which was launched in 2009 by a division of Universal Medica Group called Universal Biotech, selected Aortix due to its revolutionary technology. It is the first catheter-based circulatory heart pump meant to be used in ambulatory and developed specifically to treat patients with NYHA Class III-IVa heart failure, who are too sick for medication alone, but not sick enough for surgical interventions such as LVAD or transplant.
The pump is thinner than a pencil and it resembles a torpedo. Despite being small, Aortix is a powerful micro pump mounted within a self-expanding anchoring system, which is delivered via a catheter in the femoral artery to the descending thoracic aorta and secured in place with novel self-expanding anchors that deploy to fix the pump to the aortic wall. The small size and unique design of the catheter-deployed, intra-aortic circulatory assist pump enables its placement in a quick and simple ten-minute outpatient procedure.
“Being selected as a semi finalist catapults Procyrion and Aortix onto the world stage among other entrepreneurial companies and groundbreaking innovations,” stated the CEO of Procyrion Benjamin A. Hertzog, PhD, in a press release. “As we prepare to enter first-in-man trials, we’re excited about the potential impact of Aortix to improve patient quality of life and reduce the cost of care.”