Start-Up Previews (04/2010)
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Despite Challenges, Congestive Heart Failure Draws A Crowd," features profiles of miRagen, NellOne Therapeutics, Phrixus Pharmaceuticals and Sorbent Therapeutics. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Ambicare, Anulex Technologies, NeoTract and Sistemic.
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Non-malignant skin cancer is a growing problem particularly in the affluent Western world, linked to an aging society and increased sun exposure. Surgery is the traditional treatment, but it can lead to scarring and infection. Photodynamic therapy, which uses a light source to activate a prodrug, is increasingly implemented by physicians as an alternative to surgery. Ambicare Health Ltd. is eveloping a range of wearable, single-use, battery-operated light sources for PDT for skin cancer, as well as in phototherapy of other skin disorders such as acne and age-related wrinkles.
One of the few surgical procedures that does not routinely involve closing tissue is a lumbar discectomy to repair a disc herniation, because up until recently there has been no easy and effective technique. The standard of care is to let the surgical opening attempt to heal on its own. However this neglect results in roughly 15% of cases requiring reoperation due to reherniation. Anulex Technologies Inc.’s Xclose tissue repair system provides surgeons with the opportunity to approximate and close the tissue of the anulus fibrosus immediately following a discectomy.
Men with moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia may soon find a welcome alternative to the daily regimen of pharmacologic relief, while delaying/avoiding the more aggressive gold-standard treatment of a transurethral resection of the prostate. The UroLift system from NeoTract Inc. lifts the enlarged prostate tissue aside with small customized sutures so it no longer compresses the urethra. The device increases the urethral opening for symptom relief in a transurethral, minimally invasive procedure that can be performed under local sedation by an urologist.