Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Penn start-up develops advanced surgical tools for cancer diagnosis and treatment


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: January 15th, 2020

A University of Pennsylvania start-up is developing surgical tools that can be maneuvered in difficult areas in the body to diagnose and treat cancerous tumors.

Verix Health currently has two devices, one to gain access to lung nodules to detect and treat lung cancer, and another to access the abdominal cavity and lungs via a needle-puncture of the skin. Both tools are designed to be steerable and minimally invasive, as opposed to current tools that are often straight, rigid and non-steerable.

“Physicians need to safely gain access to these patients’ tumors for diagnosis and treatment,” says Sasha Schrode, president and CEO of Verix Health. “They may be next to a sensitive structure, near a blood vessel, or too close to an area that can put a patient at a high risk of complications if we try to gain access to those lesions with a straight device. What our device does is enable physicians to actively navigate the anatomy to gain access to the lesion in a minimally invasive way.”

Penn professor Mark Yim invented the technology and founded Verix in 2016 through Penn’s PCI Ventures start-up incubator. Last year, Verix closed an $8 million Series A funding round to support further development as it prepares for commercialization.

Source: Philadelphia

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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