Devices & Diagnostics

Single-handed suturing medical device could cut hospital OR times

A single-handed suturing device could improve surgeons’ efficiency in closing wounds and save hospitals valuable time in the operating room. The device has been developed by Cleveland-based Suturenetics, a husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team that has tasted success before in the medical device market. Closing wounds can be time-consuming and labor intensive and often cost hospitals lots […]

A single-handed suturing device could improve surgeons’ efficiency in closing wounds and save hospitals valuable time in the operating room.

The device has been developed by Cleveland-based Suturenetics, a husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team that has tasted success before in the medical device market.

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Closing wounds can be time-consuming and labor intensive and often cost hospitals lots of extra time in the operating room, according to William Moore, Suturenetics’ CEO. The company’s device combines two surgical tools — a needle driver and a pickup — into one that can be operated with just one hand.

“We’re not changing how suturing is done,” Moore said. “We’re just simplifying the process of transferring and reloading the needle.”

The device has been tested on more than 100 patients and has been shown in some cases to reduce suturing times by 40 percent to 50 percent, according to Moore.

“This is an efficiency play,” he said.

Suturenetics already has U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the device, which should make the company much more attractive to investors wary of the sometimes lengthy and uncertain FDA review process.

Suturenetics is looking to raise about $10 million in equity over the next two years, which it would use to ramp up production and boost sales and marketing. Thus far, the company has been self-funded with about $3 million from Moore and his wife Patricia.

The couple has been part of two device company exits. They were each among the first 10 employees of patient-monitoring company NellCor, which was purchased by Covidien. After that, they helped found Natus Medical, a pediatric diagnostics company that went public in 2001.

Certainly that experience will make Suturenetics attractive to investors who subscribe to the “bet-on-the-jockey, not-the-horse” investment philosophy.

Moore also touts the company’s intellectual property protection. Suturenetics has secured four patents and has applied for 20 more, he said.

“That means we have the ability to control our speed in going to market,” he said. “We’ll just go about it slow and steady.”