Newswise — SAN DIEGO – September 24, 2018 – The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) is pleased to announce that Aria CV has won the TCT 2018 Shark Tank Competition which took place during the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) 2018, the world’s premier educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine. The winner was also presented with the Jon DeHaan Foundation Award for Interventional Innovation today in the Main Arena of the San Diego Convention Center.

“We are honored to name Aria CV as this year’s TCT Shark Tank Competition Winner for their innovative technology in pulmonary hypertension,” said Juan F. Granada, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the sponsor of TCT. “It’s a truly novel concept with potential to improve the survival and quality of life for people with heart disease.”

Aria CV was founded in 2010 by Drs. John Scandurra and Karl Vollmers, former Fellows at the University of Minnesota’s Medical Devices Center. The device developed by Aria CV aims to improve outcomes in idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, a deadly disease characterized by the progressive stiffening of the pulmonary arteries, which in turn overburdens the heart and leads to its failure. This disease mainly affects young women in their prime and invariably leads to death in a matter of just a few years from diagnosis. Drug therapy has limited impact on prolonging the lives of these patients despite being very costly. Aria CV’s ingenious device consists of a balloon placed in the pulmonary artery that inflates and deflates in coordination with the heart cycle, at least partially easing the burden on the heart, providing symptom relief and hopefully increasing survival chances of these patients. Potentially, the technology’s application could also expand to an even larger population of patients in whom pulmonary hypertension develops as a complication of congestive heart failure.

Now in its fifth year, the TCT Shark Tank Competition was created to highlight the most innovative device concepts and technological developments with the potential to disrupt the field and dramatically change how patients are treated. Seven companies were chosen to present their concept among a distinguished panel of multidisciplinary experts and judged on the following criteria: unmet clinical need, out of the box concept, IP position/viability, biological proof of concept, regulatory pathway, and commercialization potential.

For the first time, the TCT 2018 Shark Tank Innovation Competition partnered with the Jon DeHaan Foundation to secure a $200,000 award that will be given to the winner. The Jon DeHaan Foundation is dedicated to supporting those working to advance cardiac medicine and provides grants and awards to individuals and companies who focus on innovative developments in cardiovascular medicine, including research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment or rehabilitation.

“The Cardiovascular Research Foundation is grateful to the Jon DeHaan Foundation for this generous support of innovators in the field who are dedicated to developing new treatments for heart disease,” added Dr. Granada.

"The DeHaan Foundation is firmly committed to its major mission in supporting cardiovascular disease innovation in many forms, said Robert Schwartz, MD, Chairman of the Board for the Jon DeHaan Foundation. “The partnership with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and TCT is an ideal collaboration to further this goal. We are pleased to begin our joint efforts with the Shark Tank sessions at TCT 2018."

About CRF and TCT

The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) is a nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to helping doctors improve survival and quality of life for people suffering from heart and vascular disease. For over 25 years, CRF has helped pioneer innovations in interventional cardiology and educated doctors on the latest treatments for heart disease.

Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) is the annual scientific symposium of CRF and the world’s premier educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine. Now in its 30th year, TCT features major medical research breakthroughs and gathers leading researchers and clinicians from around the world to present and discuss the latest evidence-based research in the field. TCT also includes interactive training where clinicians can gain vital skills to apply immediately to their practices.

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