The Fogarty Institute prides itself on its ability to select early-stage startups that show strong promise to solve an unmet need and then provides them with the necessary tools to succeed after they leave the organization.
The accomplishments of InterVene, a startup that is creating a novel, minimally invasive device for the treatment of venous disease in the legs and a Fogarty Institute alum, is reflective of what we strive to accomplish.
Shortly after leaving the Institute in 2015, InterVene successfully conducted its first-in-human clinical trials in New Zealand, demonstrating the technical feasibility of their vein valve formation system.
InterVene’s technology represents the first non-implantable, catheter-based therapy to correct the underlying cause of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This condition is caused by improper function of the veins in the legs, which leads to blood pooling in the lower extremes, causing skin changes and painful ulcerations. CVI is not uncommon — it afflicts up to 24 percent of adults and costs the U.S. healthcare system nearly $2 billion annually. To date, CVI treatment for patients with deep vein reflux is limited to compression stockings and wound care, or in rare cases, invasive surgery.
The company also moved into its new offices in South San Francisco, built its team to six members and added additional funding to its Series A round with investors including Boston Scientific, RiverVest Venture Partners and other existing angel and institutional investors.
With the added funding, InterVene developed a second-generation product, the BlueLeafTM Endovenous Valve Formation System, which has seen significant upgrades involving improvements to the vein valve formation scheme and resultant valve geometries. The company is looking forward to gathering more clinical data in 2017 during an international extended feasibility study.
Fletcher Wilson, InterVene’s founder and CEO cites multiple benefits that have carried over from being a Fogarty Institute alumnus. “The network of physician and industry contacts has been invaluable, and after spending many months updating our facility to build a prototype lab, we realized how lucky we were to have it readily available at the Fog Shop,” he said.
“We also miss the collaboration and daily interaction with the other startups, which was an incomparable resource for sharing ideas and learning different ways to tackle the challenges medtech startup face in getting to market,” he added.