Location: Sausalito, CA
Lung cancer and other pulmonary obstructive disorders impose a $154 billion burden on healthcare in the U.S. But California's Sanovas hopes to reduce this number. The company says its mission is to develop best-in-class technologies for treating obstructive pathologies in the airways. The need is substantial; as company CEO Larry Gerrans (photo) told FierceMedicalDevices, 43 million Americans suffer from a chronic pulmonary disease. Gerrans and his company have even gone to Capitol Hill to demonstrate the need for advances in treating lung cancer and pulmonary diseases, as they increasingly tax the healthcare system.
But Sanovas is looking to provide innovative minimally invasive solutions to the surgical and interventional sciences. Its "Smart Technologies" employ advances in access, imaging, resection, drug delivery, physiologic metric acquisition and biofeedback to provide surgeons with a faster, less invasive, lower-risk and more cost effective alternative to current treatments.
Specifically, Sanovas' Vas Zeppelin vessel imaging system provides direct visualization and 3D orientation of the targeted anatomy. It uses proprietary micro-optics and imaging sensors that allow direct visualization of the anatomy in spaces as narrow as 2 millimeters in diameter. Gerrans told FMD that previous technology hasn't been small enough to get into the smaller spaces of the lungs. But Sanovas' technology would de-risk procedures for doctors, allowing them to look at lungs in a controlled, methodical way.
Gerrans himself has an impressive background, holding positions at Johnson & Johnson's Depuy Orthopedics, Stryker and Smith & Nephew. He also helped pioneer the technologically advanced Endoscopic Surgical Suite and Digital Operating Room and the Hermes voice activation and surgical device control system.
Gerrans told FMD that more women die of lung cancer than breast and all other female cancers combined. Seventeen percent of women who get lung cancer never smoked--a much higher statistic than in the male population. Another group highly affected by lung cancer is veterans, whose disease rate is two times higher than the general population.
The company is looking to raise $15 million in a Series A financing.