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Symphony Medical Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

The founders of Symphony Medical asked themselves how they could improve outcomes in atrial fibrillation patients with a procedure that would be faster than current ablative techniques and which wouldn't destroy heart tissue. The solution lies in a biopolymer that can achieve a biological effect on the heart, and it came, in a roundabout way, from cell therapy work begun in heart failure.

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CyberHeart Inc.

While no medical device start-up operates in a risk-free zone, CyberHeart is minimizing its risk by using core technology that is already proven in another therapeutic area, cancer. The start-up has licensed cardiac tissue ablation rights to Accuray Inc.'s CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system, and intends to use it to develop a completely noninvasive approach for the large, unmet atrial fibrillation market.

Tapping the Potential of Atrial Fibrillation Devices

A solid foundation has been laid in the field of devices for atrial fibrillation; clinical trials have underscored the efficacy of cardiac ablation devices compared to drugs, reimbursement is in place for both surgical and catheter-based ablation procedures, and large companies have invested heavily in the technologies, validating the entire field. Early devices on the market are bringing in some revenues for their developers, but much remains to be done before atrial fibrillation becomes the multi-billion market everyone talks about. The biggest challenge that lies ahead: clinical trials, for today, all ablation devices are used off-label for atrial fibrillation.

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Analyzing the venture financings closed by 2004's new crop of biotech, diagnostics, and medical device start-ups reveals today's trends that may shape tomorrow's health care industry. Here we point out eleven 2004 Series A financings that identify and illustrate what's hot.

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