Newswise — TOLEDO, Ohio, Nov. 24, 2014 – ProMedica has invested in an early stage medical device company that is developing and commercializing innovative and cost-effective devices for treating common vascular diseases such as peripheral artery disease (PAD). Jobst Vascular Surgeon John Pigott, MD, founded the Sylvania-based company, VentureMed Group (VMG), and its first invention is already being used in clinical trials underway in Europe. More than 12 million Americans over 65 years of age have PAD, a narrowing of the peripheral arteries caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). PAD most commonly affects arteries of the pelvis and legs and can lead to a heart attack, stroke or limb amputation. Dr. Pigott created the FLEX Scoring Catheter™ for patients with PAD who have severely blocked arteries that cannot be effectively treated with traditional balloon procedures. A dozen patients have been enrolled in the first human clinical trials for the FLEX device in Poland. With approval by the Food and Drug Administration, it may be available next year in the United States. Dr. Pigott has spent several years refining the FLEX device and believes it could further revolutionize vascular surgery. “We are extremely pleased with the initial results we are seeing with patients in the clinical trial,” said Dr. Pigott. “These are patients with very difficult blockages that would not respond well to existing treatments.” How the FLEX catheter worksThe catheter is inserted and threaded through the patient’s artery to a point just below the blockage. The surgeon pulls a lever that exposes tiny blades that are mounted at the tip of the catheter. As the catheter is removed, the blades cut through and weaken the plaque. Next, the balloon is inflated to clear out the artery so blood is able to flow freely. Another benefit of the FLEX device is that it is designed to fit any patient artery. This will help reduce costs for hospitals that currently stock multiple devices of various lengths and diameters to fit each individual patient. More about VMGVMG is the first start-up company to participate in a new Medical Technology Business Incubator created by ProMedica Innovations. The incubator is located within the ProMedica Wildwood Medical Center campus. ProMedica Innovations was established in 2012 to help identify and commercialize medical devices and inventions to enhance patient care. The incubator will provide new and emerging life science technology businesses with the environment and support services that will increase the likelihood of commercial success. “We help our innovators and emerging companies gain access to mentors, obtain training, provide shared space, professional assistance, capital and other services that will move them onto the fast track to success,” said Lee Hammerling, MD, chief physician executive and chief medical officer at ProMedica. “By fulfilling our mission, we contribute to job creation and the enhanced economic health in the region.”

Technology business incubators accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies by providing an array of business support resources and services. Incubators help commercialize technology, create jobs and strengthen local economies. “We are very fortunate to have ProMedica’s interest and support in bringing early stage innovations to northwest Ohio to enhance the quality of care for patients,” said Dr. Pigott.

For more information about ProMedica Innovations, visit http://www.promedica.org/innovations. Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica is a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization formed in 1986. ProMedica has more than 15,000 employees and nearly 1,900 physicians with more than 600 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Its 12 hospitals and more than 300 facilities offer comprehensive diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, and women and pediatric services. ProMedica’s mission is to improve health and well-being, with a strong focus on wellness and clinical excellence, as well as innovative, community advocacy programs that address health-related issues such as hunger and obesity. For more information, please visit www.promedica.org.

VentureMed Group™ (VMG) is a clinical stage medical device company that develops and markets innovative medical devices which enable interventionalists to cost effectively treat peripheral artery diseases and improve the lives of their patients. VMG was founded in 2012 and is based in Sylvania, Ohio. For more information, please visit www.venturemedgroup.com.###