The George Washington University and Allied Minds Inc., a premier U.S. investment firm, have formed LuxCath LLC. The medical technology company is developing real-time lesion visualization technology based on breakthrough research from the university.
This technology has immediate groundbreaking potential in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common irregular heartbeat affliction in the U.S. It is based on collaborative research by Marco Mercader, a cardiologist at GW Medical Faculty Associates and School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) professor; Matthew Kay, a biomedical engineer in the School of Engineering and Applied Science; and Narine Sarvazyan, a physiologist in SMHS.
The relatively new but minimally invasive procedure used to restore the heartbeat to a normal pace, known as radio frequency catheter ablation (RFCA), optimally requires a real-time, lesion-identifying, direct visualization tool in order to be performed consistently, effectively, quickly and safely.
“We formed LuxCath to ensure that electrophysiologists are treating the right parts of the heart in atrial fibrillation patients quickly and effectively,” said Omar Amirana, managing director for life sciences at Boston-based Allied Minds. “LuxCath’s technology should significantly improve procedural outcomes for patients, speed up procedures as well as minimize costly and burdensome follow-up re-treatments.”
This collaboration represents George Washington’s growing interest in investing in research programs that may become the basis of corporate partnerships.
“Such partnerships are crucial to bring the benefits of collaborative research and the development of innovative technologies to those who need them and to provide an opportunity to fully develop and provide products in the commercial market,” said GW Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa.
Dr. Amirana commended GW’s efforts. “We were impressed with the collaboration across multiple disciplines and among multiple schools at GW in this arena. Bringing new thinking to problem solving and cross-fertilizing ideas to optimize and apply an innovative technology to a real-world problem was particularly compelling to us,” he said.
Drs. Mercader, Kay and Sarvazyan have focused their research for many years on AF because effectively treating the condition is one of the biggest problems hospitals face worldwide.
“To date, monitoring tissue injury in real time remains a major limitation of current ablation approaches,” said Dr. Mercader. “Detection of viability gaps between the lesions and closure of these gaps during a single radio frequency ablation would increase both the safety and efficacy of therapy. We are very excited to develop products that will significantly enhance the lives of patients.”
Click here for more information about LuxCath.