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Innercool Therapies Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

[Innercool Therapies Inc.] believes it can offer a fast, effective, and safe way to provide hypothermic therapy with {Celsius Control}, its vascular catheter system for inducing or reversing hypothermia in the treatment of various conditions. Innercool's system consists of a proprietary disposable catheter tip made of a flexible metal and a portable device that supplies temperature-controlled saline to the catheter. The catheter is placed in the blood stream and exchanges heat directly with the blood to provide a warming or cooling effect. There is no need to perfuse fluids into the body or to circulate blood outside of the body.

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Is Therapeutic Hypothermia Finally Heating Up?

Therapeutic hypothermia companies have largely been disappointing for investors who poured in -- and lost -- fortunes investing in promising cooling technologies. But while many first-generation start-ups no longer exist, the technologies they developed live on within the large corporations that paid pennies on the dollars to acquire them. Although the pioneers in the field failed to meet their objectives, there is reason for hope. Their corporate acquirers have continued to move the technology down the field. The end zone may not be in sight, yet, but advancement is slow and steady. Meanwhile, medical societies including the American Heart Association have issued guidelines on how hospitals should employ therapeutic hypothermia in treating patients. Similarly, some decision makers - including the City of New York - are requiring patients be taken to facilities that offer cooling treatments, giving the field the legitimacy it lacked for so long. Finally, innovation is beginning to take root again as new start-ups develop a next generation of therapeutic hypothermia devices. Taken together, these developments suggest that patient temperature management may arrive someday soon.

Philips buys Innercool: The Ice Age Cometh

As part of a bid to connect the dots between its own product offerings, Philips Healthcare acquired InnerCool Therapies, maker of surface and endovascular cooling devices for the management of cardiac patients. InnerCool fits into the company's broader "care cycle" strategy, the point of which is to provide a continuum of care to patients in the diseases Philips serves. Specifically, Philips' strategy is to connect diverse care settings to its product markets, in this case, cardiac resuscitation. The combination marks a change in how sudden cardiac arrest is regarded, from an isolated episode focused on a stopped heart to a larger strategy of patient management.

Temperature Management Devices Are Hot

Doctors have long theorized that being able to precisely warm (hyperthermia) and cool (hypothermia) patients, depending on their conditions and surroundings, would be beneficial in a variety of neurological and cardiovascular procedures. This has given rise to a group of medical device companies formed in the mid-to-late 1990s dedicated to developing temperature management systems. The big question has ben whether clinical data would validate the bets these companies made in this space. Early clinical data released recently has been positive, and large companies are interested in this area, sparking the first major temperature management deal.

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