Critical Capitol Perfusion

Posted: July 4, 2010 in Comstock's Magazine
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Published in July 2010 Edition of Comstock’s Magazine

Startup Critical Perfusion has designed a device to detect inadequate blood flow to the stomach, which can cause septic shock and death. Preliminary tests suggests the company’s tissue reactance monitor is effective in detecting decreased blood flow early and consequently, reducing the amount of time the patient stays in an intensive-care unit.

The life-and-cost-saving device has caught the attention of the local venture community. The company entered and won a business plan competition at the Med Tech Showcase at Sacramento State. The Next Wave Med Tech Innovators Challenge allowed startups to present their business plans to a panel of venture capitalists, med tech professionals and physicians.

Pete Bernadoni, managing director of WavePoint Ventures and panel judge for the challenge, says that out of the five companies that presented their innovations, Danville-based Critical Perfusion was the only one that is already operational.

“It’s a very significant health care issue,” Bernadoni says. “ They have a strong management team, and it’s a real working product with data.”

Annually, there are approximately 8 million patients in the ICU, and 80 percent develop low blood flow to the stomach. With the existing technology, “patients that develop severe sepsis (organ failure) will increase the length of stay to an average of 21 days,” according to the company. Because the device would decrease time in the ICU, it would increase revenues with a projected gross margin of 85 percent between 2011 and 2014.

Critical Perfusion’s device is also less invasive, says CEO and President Jerry Gibson.

“Our company could be a candidate to go public or be purchased by a larger medical device company in the ICU or medical environment,” he says.

The company has three employees and expects the device to hit the market in two years. About $3 million in startup funds has come from a Mexican government grant and the original research and development firm, Mexico-based Innovamedica.

“When the hypoperfusion device comes out, it will be a stand-alone monitor,” Gibson says. “The second product will be a module that would then incorporate it into the existing monitoring systems and our information would also be on display for the doctor to see.”

The stand-alone monitor will cost $4,000, and the module $500.

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