Nerve-stim startup Sanguistat shuffles its deck

Power play: Electric nerve stimulation pioneer Sanguistat, spun out of the Feinstein Institute in 2016, is preparing for key clinical trials.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A Connecticut-based biotech spun out of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has assembled a powerful collection of advisors and directors, including corporate heavyweights and recognized global leaders in the burgeoning field of biolelectronic medicine.

Sanguistat Inc., a 2016 clinical-stage medical-device startup, has named Feinstein Institute President and CEO Kevin Tracey as chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board, a role that will leverage the pioneer’s decades of groundbreaking bioelectronics research.

The company has also named Northwell Health Senior Vice President for Clinical Strategy and Development Martin Doerfler, who doubles as Northwell Health’s associate chief medical officer, to its board of directors.

And it’s tabbed Jim Dolan – a 38-year veteran of the pharma and biotech industries, including 15 years in international operational-management positions at Pfizer – as an “independent director.”

Not to be confused with Long Island’s own James Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Co. and executive chairman of MSG Networks, Jim Dolan has racked up decades of experience at Pfizer, Purdue Pharma and other privately help companies with early-stage discoveries, asset purchases, strategic alliances, intellectual-property licenses, regulatory agreements, private and public company acquisitions and venture investments.

Martin Doerfler: Good advice.

Further reshuffling its deck, Sanguistat has named three prominent Feinstein Institute researchers to “senior advisory roles,” including Chad Bouton, co-director of Feinstein’s Center for Bioelectronic Medicine. Bouton has previously served as Sanguistat’s chief technical officer.

Also named as senior advisors are Feinstein Institute Assistant Professor Jared Huston and Feinstein Vice President for Scientific Affairs Christopher Czura. Huston, who has served as the company’s chief medical advisor, and Czura, who has served as its chief scientific officer, actually co-founded Sanguistat in 2016.

With the fresh blood and the new roles for its legacy leaders, Sanguistat appears to be ramping up its mission to commercialize bioelectronic medical devices designed specifically to control bleeding through electrical nerve stimulation – including its flagship product, the Neural Tourniquet, which was invented by Czura and Huston based on intellectual property developed by Tracey.

The Feinstein Institute CEO, recognized as a global pacesetter in the emerging field of vagus-nerve stimulation, said his 21st century science updates medical practices that have remained essentially unchanged for centuries.

“The way medical professionals stop and control bleeding hasn’t changed much since the use of the tourniquet in ancient Greece,” Tracey noted. “As part of Sanguistat’s Scientific (Advisory) Board, I hope to aid their development of a new solution to stop uncontrolled bleeding, which is a leading cause of preventable death among patients.”

With laboratory studies showing “no side effects related to the use of the Neural Tourniquet,” according to the Feinstein Institute, and the reshaped corporate team in place, Sanguistat is preparing to initiate clinical trials applying the Neural Tourniquet in C-section and hemophilia cases.

That effort is being supported by Northwell Health’s investment arm, Northwell Ventures – a critical endorsement of the nerve-stimulation tech, according to Sanguistat CEO Ronald Burch.

“Northwell Ventures sees numerous proposals each year,” Burch said in a statement. “We were pleased to be able to attract their interest, along with the active support of Dr. Doerfler, as we develop the Feinstein Institute technology.”


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