Any country would wish to have an App that would help in providing health replacements like the circulatory system. South Africa is fortunate enough to have this.
The SA Cardiosynthesis is a Joburg-based startup ready to ensure that it provides heart-valve replacement to emerging markets that do not require long term administration of medication.
Murray Legg, a co-founder of Cardiosynthesis, said that there’re about 500,000 heart valve replacement that are carried out but only done in developed markets with advanced health care and surgeons; which is very disadvantageous to markets that do not have such technologies.
Murray is a 29 year old Biomediacal engineering PhD graduate, founded SA Cardiosynthetics in 2012.He has experience in developing and commercializing products in the biomedical market, but worked previously as an investment banker at Rand Merchant Bank.
His partner, David J Wheatley, at 72 has the upper hand on the practical surgery experience as well as the design in the heart-valve design replacement. He was professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Glasgow and had a 27-year tenure at the British Heart Foundation.
Legg and Wheatley have secured international patents for the intellectual property they’ve developed for the valve and its novel operation and the opportunity to diversify the product into a transcathether valve that will allow for minimally invasive surgery.
They have been granted the patent in the US, Europe, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Canada.
The partners have self-funded the project for the past six years, during which time they considered various geometries and prototype designs.
“After converging on a design that we felt confident would work, we patented the landscape around the design,” said Legg.
The pair raised funding for the first phase of the project from government’s Technology Innovation Agency.
Legg says emerging markets need a product like this because rheumatic fever, when left untreated, can lead to valve disease.
Once SA Cadiosynthetics proves that its valve operates the same or better than a US Food and Drug Administration-approved commercial valve supplied by large valve manufacturers such as St. Jude Medical or Medtronic, it will make money, Legg says.
Their main competitor include Medtronic Sorin Group, Edwards Lifesciences and St. Jude Medical.
SA Cardiosynthetics has completed the theoretical engineering and technical validation of the valve and is now focusing on the way it operates in a patient’s heart.
“We will run animal trials and fatigue tests to ensure that devices operate in a biological setting, and the way they handle the pressures of stresses found in the body are next on our list.”
Legg also hopes that because Wheatley is a global authority on heart-valve therapy, the company will be able to cover a wide range of international markets.