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Allied Minds and The George Washington University partner to form LuxCath LLC

This medical innovation, based on collaborative research by Drs. Marco Mercader, M.D., a cardiologist; Matthew Kay, D.Sc., a biomedical engineer; and Narine Sarvazyan, Ph.D., a physiologist, at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), has immediate groundbreaking potential in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common irregular heartbeat affliction in the U.S.

BOSTON/WASHINGTON The George Washington University (GW) and Allied Minds, Inc., a premier U.S. investment firm, are pleased to announce the formation of LuxCath LLC, a medical technology company that is developing real-time lesion visualization technology based on breakthrough research from the university.

LuxCath's technology for directly visualizing tissue and lesions in real time has initial application in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, in the U.S., affecting more than 2 million people, or about 1 in every 150 individuals. The relatively new but minimally invasive procedure used to restore the heartbeat to a normal pace, known as Radio Frequency Catheter Ablation (RFCA), optimally requires a real-time, lesion-identifying, direct visualization tool in order to be performed consistently, effectively, quickly and safely.

"We formed LuxCath to ensure that electrophysiologists are treating the right parts of the heart in atrial fibrillation patients quickly and effectively," said Dr. Omar Amirana, M.D., Managing Director for Life Sciences at Boston-based Allied Minds. "LuxCath's technology should significantly improve procedural outcomes for patients, speed up procedures, as well as minimize costly and burdensome follow-up re-treatments."

This medical innovation is based on collaborative research by Drs. Marco Mercader, M.D., a cardiologist at the GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) and SMHS professor; Matthew Kay, D.Sc., a biomedical engineer at the GW SEAS ; and Narine Sarvazyan, Ph.D., a physiologist, at the GW SMHS. This collaboration represents GW's growing interest in investing in research programs that may become the basis of corporate partnerships like this one with Allied Minds.

"Such partnerships are crucial to bring the benefits of collaborative research and the development of innovative technologies to those who need them; and to provide an opportunity to fully develop and provide products in the commercial market," said University Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa.

"We were impressed with the collaboration across multiple disciplines and amongst multiple schools at GW in this arena. Bringing new thinking to problem solving and cross-fertilizing ideas to optimize and apply an innovative technology to a real-world problem was particularly compelling to us. We commend GW's efforts here," commented Dr. Amirana.

Drs. Mercader, Kay and Sarvazyan have focused their research for many years on AF because effectively treating the condition is one of the biggest problems hospitals face, not just in the U.S., but around the world.

To date, monitoring tissue injury in real time remains a major limitation of current ablation approaches," said Dr. Mercader. "Detection of viability gaps between the lesions and closure of these gaps during a single radio frequency ablation would increase both the safety and efficacy of therapy. We are very excited to develop products that will significantly enhance the lives of patients."


Contact: Anne Banner
George Washington University

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