Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter

The Pitch: Health Wildcatters company Noninvasix aiming to cut number of C-sections

By September 8, 2015 News No Comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter

google+_cover_photo-2

September 8, 2015 | Danielle Abril | Dallas Business Journal

A Health Wildcatters company that has spurred out of Houston has created a noninvasive way for doctors to monitor babies’ oxygen levels during delivery, aiming to decrease the number of unnecessary caesarean sections.

The development comes from Noninvasix, which has been working with some form of the technology since 2007. The technology dates back to the ’90s, when the inventors were working on using it to aid in brain injury situations.

Graham Randall, CEO of Noninvasix Inc., said the company plans to raise $3.75 million in a series A round this year.

Graham Randall, CEO of Noninvasix Inc., said the company plans to raise $3.75 million in a series A round this year.

Noninvasix has found that it can be applied to the delivery room.
“This is a serious problem,” said Graham Randall, Noninvasix CEO, adding that C-sections can add risk and cost to the delivery procedure. “Over 100 new mothers will lose their life every year due to an unnecessary procedure.

“There needs to be a better way.”
So the company is hoping its device can serve as the safer solution for doctors. Randall was formerly the president of Intubix LLC, a startup commercializing a medical device for respiratory care. For Noninvasix, Randall has linked up with Dr. Donald Prough, Rebecca Terry White Distinguished Chair, professor of anesthesiology and the assistant clinical director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Medical Branch; and Rinat Esenaliev, the director of the Laboratory for Optical Sensing and Monitoring at the Center for Biomedical Engineering.
Here’s a look at Noninvasix.
How does your technology work?
It’s optoacoustic, meaning it uses light and sound. Hemoglobin (a protein in the blood that carries oxygen) absorbs light at different frequencies and wavelengths depending on whether it’s loaded with oxygen. The sound waves are … detectable by a microphone or in our case an ultrasound transducer. There’s a monitor – the console – which is kind of like a small 1990s PC. Its got an LCD panel on it, and it has a cable coming out of it. Attached to the end is the patient interface, which looks like a stethoscope head. The doctor looks at the fetal heart rate monitor and sees the non-reassuring status of the fetus. The interface is inserted transvaginally, the head should be downward during active labor. You’re literally taking a reading off the top of the baby’s head. It takes about a second, the reading.

How are you backed?
We have National Institutes of Health grant funding. The company has raised about $2 million so far. Some of that is from the NIH and a big chunk is from private investors including a family office in Houston and the Emerging Tech Fund.
Do you have any patents?
We have six issued patents and filed five more in the last six months. We’re trying to be very aggressive in our patent protection.
Has this been tested?
We started off with sheep. We took the probe and put that on the scalp of the sheep. We were penetrating the sheep’s skull to take measurements. The R-squared was .99, which means it’s dead-on accurate. Then we did adult studies in the operating room with people who had been injured in car accidents and had other forms of brain injury. We compared our measurements to (results from a) co-oximeter (the gold standard). With the NIH grant money, we’ve done testing in the NICU and several in the labor in delivery room. We haven’t done a large clinical trial. We’re still in design phase.
What’s next?
The next step is to build the manufacturing prototype. It’s the device we’ll use to do the clinical testing and take to the FDA for clearance. We expect that within six months we’ll raise our next round of funding to build the prototype (which will take 12 months). It’ll take about another 12 months after building the prototype to get FDA clearance.
Danielle covers technology and startups for the Dallas Business Journal. Subscribe to our new TechFlash email newsletter.

Danielle covers technology and startups for the Dallas Business Journal. Subscribe to our new TechFlash email newsletter.

0

About Christy Torres

Leave a Reply

Apply to be part of the Health Wildcatters 2014 class in Dallas, Texas. Apply