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CircuLite Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

More than 80% of the ventricular assist devices in development today use an open surgical approach. CircuLite Inc. is developing a completely interventional VAD. With its percutaneous device, the company aims to extend treatment to patients at an earlier stage of heart failure, thus halting--or perhaps reversing--disease progression.

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CircuLite: Partial Support Enables Patient Management

There is a large group of chronic heart failure patients--more than two million of them worldwide-who are resistant to or have failed drugs or devices, but aren't yet eligible for the cardiac assist devices approved for end-stage patients. Back in 2006, when START-UP first spoke with CircuLite, the company was after those patients, with a small pump that, in providing partial circulatory support, would be in an entirely different category than LVADs. Today, on only a bit more than $36 million in funding, CircuLite has developed the Synergy Pocket Micro-pump, a tiny pump designed to provide partial assist to the heart. Synergy has completed its first-in-man study, and is nearing completion of its European clinical trial supporting a CE mark.

CircuLite: Partial Support Enables Patient Management

There is a large group of chronic heart failure patients--more than two million of them worldwide-who are resistant to or have failed drugs or devices, but aren't yet eligible for the cardiac assist devices approved for end-stage patients. Back in 2006, when START-UP first spoke with CircuLite, the company was after those patients, with a small pump that, in providing partial circulatory support, would be in an entirely different category than LVADs. Today, on only a bit more than $36 million in funding, CircuLite has developed the Synergy Pocket Micro-pump, a tiny pump designed to provide partial assist to the heart. Synergy has completed its first-in-man study, and is nearing completion of its European clinical trial supporting a CE mark.

Cardiac Assist: Pumping up the Heart Failure Market

After struggling for years to gain momentum, the ventricular assist device market appears finally to be coming of age. Second-generation VAD designs are performing well and seem to have largely addressed the pump durability and safety issues of the past that stymied growth and prevented this market from reaching its full potential. In the process, these new pumps, and their third-generation counterparts now waiting in the wings, are revitalizing interest in VADs among both physicians and patients, and propelling this potential multibillion dollar market to the forefront once again.

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