By GREGORY ZELLER //
Meet Sanguistat, the corporate face of the latest technology spinning out of Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
For now, Sanguistat is not an Inc. or LLC. But it does have co-founders – Feinstein vice president Christopher Czura, who will be the new company’s chief scientific officer, and Jared Huston, a medical doctor and Feinstein researcher who will serve as chief medical officer.
Czura and Huston are also listed as co-inventors of the Neural Tourniquet, an electrical stimulator based on intellectual property developed over the last 15 years by Feinstein Institute CEO Kevin Tracey, a global bioelectronics pioneer.
Soon-to-startup Sanguistat also has a chief technology officer in former Battelle Memorial Institute chief scientist Chad Bouton, who came over from the Ohio-based nonprofit applied science/tech-development company in 2015 specifically to work on the Neural Tourniquet. Bouton has also been tapped as managing director of the institute’s forthcoming Center for Bioelectronic Medicine, a $300 million facility planned for Uniondale’s Nassau Hub development.
Sanguistat’s chief-executive-in-waiting is Ronald Burch, an MD/PhD whom Czura noted has helped speed many Feinstein technologies toward commercialization. While he’s the CEO of choice, Burch is still negotiating a final comp package, Czura said Tuesday.
A best-case scenario, Czura noted, sees the new company officially launched sometime in the first quarter and Neural Tourniquet clinical trials commencing before summer.
The device applies electric stimulation to the neural pathways leading to the spleen, priming the coagulation system to clot in half the time and reducing potential blood loss by 50 percent for surgical patients, accident victims or those wounded in battle.
With a working prototype ready, the Sanguistat crew is looking to speed toward clinical trials. But those trials will be expensive, Czura noted, which is why the scientists have chosen this moment to go corporate.
“We now understand how the technology works, sufficiently enough to begin clinical trials,” he said. “The best way to get those spurred on is to start the company and recruit some investors.”
Czura wouldn’t say how much the company might be looking to raise or whether the principals had already spoken to specific investors. The important thing to understand now, he noted, is that the technology shows real promise and that the Feinstein staff has taken the Neural Tourniquet as far as it could.
“The Feinstein Institute is a not-for-profit academic medical research institute,” said Czura, who as VP of scientific affairs oversees the institute’s $95 million annual budget. “Its strong suit is not commercialization.
“The reality is, not-for-profits can only move tech closer to commercialization,” he added. “When it comes to actually making a widget that will be sold in the marketplace, that’s not what they do.”
That level of manufacturing and marketing, Czura noted, is best left to the private sector. In this case, investors will be called to fund not only the clinical trials, but to cover continuing research and the eventual development of advanced prototypes that sharpen the technology to the commercialization point.
That expensive final leg, according to Czura, is best left to the pros.
“Actually getting to market is a very intricate thing,” he said. “It’s something only for-profit companies can really do.”