A diagnostic device could speed up and take the guesswork out of diagnosing and guiding treatment for excessive bleeding and overactive clotting in clinical settings. A medical device company is raising $3.5 million to develop the device, with cardiopulmonary bypass procedures as its initial focus. But it sees scope for the platform technology, referred to as sonorheometry, to be applied to other areas.
HemoSonics, a Charlottesville, Virginia-based company, discussed the device at a venture forum organized by Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures. Hemostatic balance is required to stop blood loss from an injured vessel. But when something happens to disrupt that balance, it can create disorders associated with heavy bleeding or excessive clotting. These disorders, including pulmonary embolism, heart attack and strokes, are responsible for 30 percent of deaths in the developed world, according to the company.
William Walker, HemoSonics president, said current biochemical coagulation tests are limited in what they can do — they only assess portions of the clotting process and neglect platelets. Diagnostic devices currently available like TEG and ROTEM analyzers are slow, expensive and can only be used in a central lab, according to a statement from the company.
Walker said the company will use the funding to finish product development and initiate clinical studies. The device, the size of an iMac, will be smaller when it goes into production, said Walker. HemoSonics will generate its main revenue from disposable test cartridges the device uses.
It estimates the value of the cardiopulmonary bypass procedure market at $116 million. It also sees applications for the device in trauma and intensive care along with orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, clot screening for oral contraception and perinatal care, among others. It values the combined market opportunities for these indications at more than $2 billion in the U.S. alone.
Walker is a serial entrepreneur. In addition to HemoSonics, he is the co-founder of medical device company PocketSonics, which develops a portable ultrasound imaging system the size of a cellphone. He is also a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Virgina.