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ThermopeutiX Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Patients afflicted with acute stroke may soon have their brain protected from reduced cerebral blood flow by being induced with selective hypothermia, as opposed to being subjected to systemic cooling, which lowers the entire body's temperature, but may stop the heart in the process. ThermopeutiX Inc.'s DuoFlo is a dual-lumen catheter system that removes warm blood from the body through one lumen and delivers cold blood to the brain through a second lumen. The novel technology is designed to be used primarily by interventional cardiologists and interventional radiologists -- rather than neurologists -- to treat not only stroke, but cardiac arrest and trauma as well.

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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.

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.

Start-Up Previews (06/2010)

A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. "Altering The Insulin Resistance System" features profiles of Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Limerick BioPharma, Marcadia BIotech and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: nContact Surgical, NormOxys and Thermopeutix.

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