Indian American led company strikes deal for lung clot treatment devices

Ritu Jha-

US-based Innova Vascular, a medical device company, has reached an agreement that it will sell its line of thrombectomy devices post FDA approval to Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.(CSI) for commercialization.

Sanjay Shrivastava, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Innova Vascular based in Irvine, California, who announced the deal Feb. 23, said that his company develops medical devices that enable treatments of cardiovascular diseases in a minimally invasive manner without surgery.

According to Shrivastava, “During the last two decades, interventional devices have brought a paradigm shift in how patients with cardiovascular diseases are treated.  The interventional devices enable doctors to access any part of the body, where the blood flows, using a needle at the groin and using that to thread long catheters to the problem site under image guidance and inserting various tools to treat the underlying disease through them thereby eliminating a need for major open surgery.”

“The easiest way to understand our industry is to think of it as a body plumbing business.  Just like pipes in our homes can get clogged, rupture or burst, arteries and veins in the body have similar issues. Just like tools required for plumbing, we develop tools to fix body plumbing problems.” Shrivastava added.

Shrivastava said, “In my career, I have been fortunate to have developed tools to solve various “body plumbing” problems.  The product that I’m most proud of is a device called Solitaire FR, the development was led by me more than 10 years ago.  Solitaire FR treats acute ischemic stroke by pulling clot all the way from the brain through a needle insertion at the groin”.  Today this device is sold by Medtronic.  Every 3-4 years, I take a medical problem within the cardiovascular space, develop and commercialize a tool to fix it, and once a tool is developed, has regulatory approvals, and is commercialized, I move on to a different part of body.

At present, his focus is on building a medical device to remove clots from arteries and veins including those from the lungs for a condition called “pulmonary embolism”.  Pulmonary embolism affects more than 400,000 patients in the US each year resulting in more than 100,000 deaths. This results from a blood clot blocking the pulmonary artery.”

“Our device is intended to remove these clots without doing open surgery using a procedure termed as thrombectomy,” he said, explaining the strategy behind the deal with Cardiovascular Systems Inc, which has leadership in products to remove plaque from arteries in legs and the heart. Our products will be complementary to CSI’s current product portfolio. CSI, which has a commercial presence in adjacent therapeutic areas, intends to acquire and commercialize thrombectomy devices from Innova.

Besides being involved in two medical device companies that he founded during the last four years, Shrivastava also serves as an independent director on the board of a publicly-traded medical device company called enVVeno (Nasdaq: NVNO).  Prior to this, he worked at Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Abbott in functions including business development, marketing and research and development.

When asked what will be next beyond these thrombectomy products, Shrivastava said, “I am a tool maker. When one problem is solved, I shall move on to making a tool for another problem.”