BALTIMORE, Sept. 8 A new medtech spin-off from CSAMedical, Inc., is about to give cancer patients and their caregivers a reasonto breathe more easily. Literally.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080721/NEM114LOGO )
In July, Reset Medical, Inc., secured $8.6 million in investments and isnow poised to distribute CSA Medical, Inc.'s endoscopic cryospray ablation(CSA) tool for use worldwide in the treatment of cancers and other diseases ofthe chest, lungs, and airway. Additional products, customized for variousthoracic diseases, are now under development.
CSA Medical's CryoSpray Ablation(TM) System, which has been cleared by theFDA, is a safe, simple, and effective treatment that delivers a low-pressure,non-contact spray of liquid nitrogen using a standard endoscope for destroyingunwanted tissues. The CSA System has been successful in treating esophagealcancer and Barrett's esophagus, a pre-cancerous disease caused by chronic acidreflux, in nearly 50 major U.S. healthcare institutions and comprehensivecancer centers.
William Krimsky, MD, an interventional pulmonologist and intensivist atFranklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, first had the vision to use the CSAtechnology for airway and thoracic diseases. In 2006 he contacted company CEOTimothy Askew to see if he would consider using the device to fightmalignancies in the lungs and chest.
"You could build an entire practice around this device," says Dr. Krimsky,who now serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for Reset Medical.
Although skeptical of the idea at first, Askew says he eventually decidedto "take a step out of my comfort zone." He authorized $200,000 to fund animaltests, and initiated a company-sponsored human clinical trial with Dr. Krimskyat Franklin Square to demonstrate safety and tissue response when using theCSA system in the airway.
"This is a unique device, serving a huge global market, from patients withlung cancer to severe asthma, pleural disease, etc.," says Dr. Krimsky."Patients have few good alternatives for treatment, and none as clinicallyaffordable, safe, effective, and tolerable."
According to national healthcare statistics, more people die of lungcancer than any other type of cancer. In addition, the technology shows greatpromise for other chest and airway diseases. As a result, company officialsestimate that the treatment market for Reset Medical is substantial. Notsurprising, convincing the existing investors to participate in another roundof funding was not terribly difficult. In fact, more than half of CSAMedical's 66 stockholders contributed.
"When investors saw the size of the markets and the level of unmet medicalneed, matched with the potential of this breakthrough technology, it became avery competitive environment for participation," says Steve Schaefer, CFO andBoard Member. "We capped the Series A round at $8.6 million and did not permitparticipation from venture firms."
Out of the proceeds from the financing, Reset Medical was able to purchasea license and certain assets from CSA Medical. Reset is using the remainingcapital to advance the science of cryotherapy through further clinical studiesin the airway and chest and to further product development. The Company hasbegun selectively distributing the CSA System to thoracic surgeons andcritical-care pulmonologists who are cooperating in this advanced research andtreating patients in great need.
There are three new clinical trials underway to investigate the technologyas a treatment for a range of ailments, including malignant and benignobstructive airway disease and pleural disease. Other studies being plannedwill include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.
About CSA Medical, Inc.
CSA Medical, Inc is the manufacturer of the CryoSpray Ablation(TM) System.The CSA System utilizes a patented technology t