Yale spin-out advances prototype development of medical device
Rocky Hill, Conn., November 10, 2010 – Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development, today announced its first client under the new Pre-Seed Fund, launched in September: NovaTract Surgical LLC (NovaTract) of New Haven, Conn. NovaTract, which received $150,000 through the new fund, secured matching funds from LaunchCapital.
“I am delighted that the Pre-Seed Fund – created through the bipartisan Jobs Bill I championed in the most recent legislative session – is off and running,” stated Governor M. Jodi Rell. “The Jobs Bill was the result of a panel I established on the first day of the session, as well as the efforts of legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle. One of its key components was the creation of this fund, which will help to increase the number of technology startups in Connecticut and stimulate job growth in our state’s dynamic high technology sector. We know that the fate of these companies is critical to our economic future.”
NovaTract is developing a medical device that will be used in single-port laparoscopic surgery and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), which are minimally invasive methods to access the abdominal cavity with an endoscope for surgery. The company has licensed its core technology from Yale University. Kurt E. Roberts, M.D., an assistant professor of gastrointestinal and general surgery at Yale University School of Medicine and NovaTract’s scientific founder, developed the technology and related techniques for its use.
“We are very excited about what NovaTract is doing and believe strongly in the benefits these procedures bring to patients,” said Eleanor Tandler, co-founder and chief executive officer of NovaTract. “We are thrilled to be partnering with capital partners who share our passion.”
The NovaTract medical device will initially benefit patients who must undergo gall bladder removals and appendectomies. The device will allow general surgeons to more easily use the single-port and NOTES methods, which currently require such a high level of skill that they are used by only about a dozen surgeons in the United States. Reducing the number of incisions from the typical three or four, to one, offers several advantages. It results in less pain and scarring for the patient and shorter recovery times, due to the lower risk of post-operative infection, adhesion and hernias in the abdominal wall.