Life-Altering Research for Patients Suffering from Painful Vein Condition

InteliSpark client, InnoVein, Inc., was awarded $726,664 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a first-of-its-kind valve replacement for chronic insufficiency of the veins (CVI). As no cure currently exists for CVI, this innovative medical technology could be life-changing for CVI patients.

CVI is a painful and disabling condition that occurs when the valves in leg veins do not allow blood to flow properly back up to the heart. Blood can flow backwards and collect in the legs, creating pain, swelling, skin thickening, varicose veins and ulcers in the legs of millions of patients suffering from the condition.

Austin Walker, biomedical engineer and co-founder of the startup InnoVein, Inc., is developing a prosthetic valve to address the underlying cause of the disease. This novel valve replacement treatment is less invasive compared to existing treatment technology. It also avoids the costs associated with CVI such as wound care, hospitalizations for infections, related surgical procedures, and rehabilitative care.

In phase II, researchers will improve upon the design created in phase I and conduct animal testing to assess the safety of the medical device and prepare for future clinical trials. Not all NSF-funded, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants advance to phase II. This is no small achievement for InnoVein, Inc. and reflects the tremendous potential to transform their innovative idea into commercial technology with societal health benefits.

This groundbreaking research offers hope to millions of patients that await a cure for this painful condition. Additionally, the commercialization of this new device will significantly reduce health care costs.