SOURCE: Medical Engineering Innovations, Inc.


October 08, 2014 01:05 ET

Phase-II SBIR Grant Boosts Development of Tools Aimed at Improving Liver Cancer Outcomes by Dramatically Reducing Blood Loss During Surgery and Tumor Ablation

MADISON, WI--(Marketwired - October 08, 2014) - Medical Engineering Innovations, Inc. (MEI) has been awarded a Phase-II SBIR grant to further develop its SwiftBlade™ products, an innovative suite of surgical tools that uses radiofrequency energy and enhanced blade characteristics to achieve nearly bloodless liver resections and tumor ablations. Surgeons and engineers from the University of Wisconsin are developing the products, which are poised to significantly improve surgical outcomes. 

Blood loss is the key factor responsible for reduced survivability in patients with liver cancer. MEI hopes to dramatically improve five-year patient survival with procedure-specific surgical tools focused on limiting blood loss. Reducing blood loss has other broad implications as well. It shortens hospital stays, reduces recovery time, minimizes repeated surgeries and reduces overall medical costs. The Phase-II SBIR grant, awarded by the National Cancer Institute, a program of the National Institutes of Health, allows the firm to speed the development of its SwiftBlade-R™ liver resection and SwiftBlade-A™ tumor ablation products. 

"This grant will provide much-needed funds to complete development work on our SwiftBlade products and move these tools closer to market," says Dr. David Mahvi, an inventor of the SwiftBlade tools and a founder of MEI. Dr. Mahvi is currently Chief of GI/ Surgical Oncology at Feinberg School of Medicine and holds an appointment as an engineering professor at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

"The Phase-II SBIR grant supports a two-year development program, with a first-year budget award of $716,252," says MEI CEO Richard Schmidt. "In addition to supporting product development, the funding will help MEI expand its workforce over the next twelve months to prepare for the launch the SwiftBlade-R™ product in late 2015."

About MEI
MEI was founded in October 2005 in Madison, Wisconsin by a diverse group of medical faculty and research staff. The company is focused on bringing new technologies to market that combat liver cancer with more effective tools for liver surgery and localized cancer treatment by heat (tumor ablation). These technologies combine a proprietary algorithm that controls the application of radiofrequency energy to tissue with enhanced blade electrode geometries that are intended to optimize tissue heating.

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