Vesselon, Inc. is an early stage company creating an entirely new clinical domain for the treatment of stroke. Distinct from all approved drugs or devices, Vesselon’s portable devices will treat patients before they get to a hospital, stemming further damage to brain cells – critically important because ‘time is brain.’ Just as automated external defibrillators now save lives of cardiac arrest patients outside of a hospital, the company’s device is intended to save lives and improve the quality of life for stroke victims by bringing stroke treatment closer, in time and distance, to when and where the stroke first occurs.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death globally – one person dies from a stroke every six seconds. In the U.S. 800,000 strokes occur per year, and in Europe 1,250,000 strokes occur annually. Worldwide 15,000,000 people suffer a stroke each year; of these, 5 million die and 5 million are permanently disabled. It is the leading cause of long-term disability in virtually every region of the globe. Only twenty-five percent of stroke patients make it to the hospital within the time frame when treatment will be possible and effective. Hence there is great need to increase earlier treatment of these patients. Any new technology to reduce these staggering numbers will have a significant cost benefit to countries that embrace and widely deploy it.
Today the standard therapy is intravenous use of a drug (tissue plasminogen activator, “tPA”) to dissolve a clot, but is only administered to three percent of patients, as most do not meet the criteria for tPA use. Clinical data shows early tPA treatment leads to improved neurological and functional outcomes. However, of the patients who receive tPA, only thirty percent recover fully, while six percent suffer hemorrhaging (with a 45% fatality rate) -– these are not encouraging outcomes for what is viewed as the gold standard for ischemic stroke care.
Vesselon is developing a novel and proprietary non-imaging insonation device that can be used by paramedics in the field and physicians in hospitals to treat stroke victims early. The device uses unfocused ultrasound along with IV administered microbubbles to dissolve a clot; tPA will not be required. As a non-imaging device, specialized image acquisition and interpretation training and skills will not be necessary of the user. Vesselon devices would be used by professionals trained in advanced life support (“ALS”) functions, whether paramedics in the field or physicians in the hospital. The company believes its therapeutic products have a large potential not only in industrialized countries but also in developing nations due to the device’s cost effective nature and limited requirements for training.
Clay Larsen – President and CEO, Co-Founder
Rhodemann Li – EVP, Business Development, Founder
Renee Walsh – VP, Engineering