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EDA-Supported Companies Work to Improve Quality of Life for Cardiac Patients

TRENTON (February 5, 2016) – As the country celebrates “National Wear Red Day” today to raise awareness about heart disease, @NJEDATech takes a look at several New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA)-supported companies that strive to improve the lives of cardiac patients. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. 
 
“The statistics on heart disease are sobering,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “However, the progress that EDA-supported startup companies are making toward stemming the tide of heart disease is promising.  From implantable medical devices to injectable drugs, these companies continue to create industry-leading, impactful products.”
 
Svelte Medical Systems, located in New Providence, produces a cost-effective integrated balloon expandable drug eluting coronary stent system featuring the smallest diameter in the industry. This stent, which is now approved in Europe and will undergo United States studies later this year, has led to a new standard of care in treating the buildup of plaque in coronary arteries, known as atherosclerosis. The company was founded by industry leading scientists -- physicist Dr. Robert Fischell and his sons Dr. David Fischell, also a physicist, and Dr. Tim Fischell, an interventional cardiologist.
 
The Fischells also founded Angel Medical Systems, located in Shrewsbury. The company developed an implantable device, known as the AngelMed Guardian® System that can detect the onset of a heart attack and alert patients to quickly seek medical attention. The Guardian® is under final review for approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration this year.
 
Svelte Medical Systems and Angel Medical Systems are among the more than 500 companies that have benefitted from the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program. The program allows qualified technology and biotechnology companies to sell unused New Jersey net operating losses and research and development tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations to raise cash to finance their growth and operations. Svelte Medical Systems also raised millions of dollars from investors who took advantage of the State’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, which provides credits against New Jersey corporate business or gross income tax for 10 percent of a qualified investment in an emerging technology business that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state. 
 
VEESAG Mobile develops wearable technology aimed at helping people maintain their independence, remain healthier and live better. The company’s smart watch, Mobile Personal Emergency Response System (MPERSENS®), comes equipped with an application for heart monitoring and a one-touch emergency button, as well as location tracking, fall detection, and remote monitoring. It can also share critical information with family members. Following confirmation in 2015 from Sprint and Verizon that the devices were compatible with their networks, VEESAG Mobile is ramping up manufacturing to make its watches widely available to consumers.
 
Ascendia Pharmaceuticals is developing ASD-002, an injectable form of the blood thinner clopidogrel, the generic form of Plavix®, which is currently administered orally. Ascendia expects ASD-002 to be utilized in multiple markets, including catheterization procedures, peripheral arterial disease and acute coronary syndrome. The company is currently preparing for clinical testing of ASD-002.
 
VEESAG Mobile and Ascendia Pharmaceuticals are both located at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT). Nestled among commercial real estate up and down the Rt. 1 corridor in North Brunswick, CCIT is New Jersey’s leading life sciences incubator. Home to nearly two dozen seed-stage life sciences companies, CCIT offers its tenants not only affordable lab and office space, but also a wealth of resources, such as assistance with identifying funding sources, including state incentives, and help making matches to private sector support, discounted rent for the first year for university spinouts, access to small business development resources and administrative support.
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