INDIANAPOLIS, Oct.20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BioCrossroads' Indiana Seed Fund has announced its twelfth investment, committing $300,000 to medical device start-up Zorion Medical. Zorion is developing a breakthrough device that combines novel biomaterials with known drug and drug delivery technology in a unique design to treat cardiovascular disease.
The initial product under development is a vascular stent that is being designed so that it will be absorbed in the body within three to six months following implantation. Zorion recently completed a successful pre-clinical study that tested the absorption properties and biological response to the biomaterial scaffold.
The BioCrossroads funding will support further proof-of-concept (POC) work in another pre-clinical study targeted for the first quarter of 2012. In addition to the Indiana Seed Fund, Periculum Capital, an Indianapolis-based private investment and merchant banking group, has invested in Zorion.
"Zorion's stent has the potential to be revolutionary within interventional cardiology where the market is significant with more than one million stent placements performed in the U.S. each year," said David Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads. "Zorion's experienced management team and innovative device represent a promising combination of talent and technology, and the company is exactly the type of start-up enterprise that fits into Indiana's entrepreneurial life sciences community. The Hoosier state is fortunate to be on the receiving end of a truly measurable ‘brain gain' through the addition and relocation of the company's chairman and industry veteran, David Broecker, from Boston to Indianapolis."
"Our vision is to develop a product that completely disappears within 3 to 6 months after it has been implanted and the body has had a chance to heal the injured arterial site," said Zorion Medical's Broecker. "If we are successful, our device will be more like a ‘splint' rather than a ‘stent'. The funding from BioCrossroads and Periculum Capital are critical for us to advance our program through the next stages of development."
The majority of other absorbable stent products in development by major companies utilize polymer-based technologies which can take up to two years to absorb, can be difficult to implant, and have limited clinical application and utility. Zorion's novel biomaterials and unique design will have the performance and deployment characteristics of drug-eluting metal stents with the promise of being completely absorbable, thereby avoiding many of the risks associated with permanent stents and eliminating the need for long-term drug therapy to prevent severe blood clots.
BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) is Indiana's initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences, a public‑private collaboration that supports the region's existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. BioCrossroads provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences enterprises (Indiana Health Information Exchange, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, and Datalys Center), expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana's life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana's life sciences industry.
About the Indiana Seed Fund I
The $6 million, return‑driven Indiana Seed Fund was launched in June 2005 and is managed by BioCrossroads with funding from BioCrossroads, the Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The Seed Fund provides working capital in the range of $50,000‑$500,000 to promising Indiana life sciences companies at the preliminary stages of operation.
About Zorion Medical
Zorion Medical is focused on developing next-generation medical devices leveraging novel biomaterial science and unique design for breakthrough results. The company's first product is a completely absorbable, drug-eluting stent being developed to treat cardiovascular disease. The company intends to advance product development through initial clinical studies and will seek commercial partners for worldwide markets. zorionmedical.com
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