Atlanta startup receives grant for transapical access, closure system

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A Georgia Tech and Emory University medical device startup, Apica Cardiovascular, which has developed a system to standardize transapical access and closure procedures of the beating heart during cardiac surgery, has received a $5.1 million investment.

With research and development support from the Coulter Foundation Translational Research Program and the Georgia Research Alliance VentureLab program, the Atlanta-based company has completed a series of preclinical studies to test the functionality of their device and its biocompatibility.

The heart surgery system consists of a conduit with proprietary technology inside that allows the conduit to be attached to the beating heart, according to the company. Surgeons then deliver therapeutic devices, such as heart valves or left ventricular assist devices, into the beating heart without loss of blood or exposure to air. Once a therapeutic device has been delivered and surgery is complete, the company's system closes and seals the access site with a biocompatible implant. The closure site can be reopened if necessary.

With the new investment from the Dublin, Ireland-based Seroba Kernel Life Sciences and the Herzelia, Israel-based TriVentures, the company will continue to conduct research and pre-clinical trials in Atlanta, ultimately seeking regulatory approval. These efforts will be led by Jorge H. Jimenez, the chief technology officer of the company, which is in the VentureLab process at the Advanced Technology Development Center, Georgia Tech's startup company accelerator.