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This project, funded by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, is supported by the following project partners: University of Zürich, Universitätsspital Zürich, Venture Kick, Therapy Development Accelerator Zürich, UZH Incubator lab, BRIDGE proof of concept, Innosuisse
Project no: GRS-068/19
Amount of funding: CHF 150'000
Duration: 06.2020 - 10.2021
Area of activity:
InnoBooster, seit 2018
Dr. Yannick Devaud
Laboratory for Cell and Tissue Engineering
8091 Zürich (Schweiz)
- yannick.devaud@usz. ch
Recent development in pre-natal diagnosis and therapy enable the detection and the treatment of life-threatening congenital diseases on fetuses during pregnancy. Those minimally invasive interventions in the womb, called fetoscopies, come along with a 80% risk of preterm birth related to the perforation of the fetal membrane through the insertion of the medical instruments. This important collateral effect is a critical limitation for those fetoscopies and for the development of more sophisticated fetal surgeries. Our innovative technology prevents membrane rupture following fetoscopies, which will help fighting against fetal morbidity and mortality and unleash the potential of fetoscopy.
What is special about the project?
As we speak, nothing is done to secure the hole, which is left open after the intervention. The innovative strategy developed by our lab consists of placing a sealing material at the site of puncture utilizing a proprietary device following a fetoscopic intervention, which would prevent iPPROM. Despite very promising initial results concerning sealing materials in previous studies, a major limitation resided in the difficulty of application of injectable glues inside of a cavity. We overcame this burden by developing a device that enables the very precise deposition of sealing material at the exact spot of puncture.
Fetal surgery is a treatment method that will evolve into standard of care in the next decades. The perspective of having a high failure rate due to preterm fetal membrane rupture is unimaginable. The establishment of a method to prevent this to happen appears to be a necessary step to unleash the potential of those surgical procedures. A lasting impact will depend on the efficient and fast market entry of our future start-up, which can be achieved thanks to this funding.
We demonstrated the feasibility of this method on an in vivo pregnant sheep model. The successful application of the sealing device demonstrated the long term sealing of the membrane. In addition, the device prototype was produced and its further development for industrialization is ongoing. KOVE medical AG was incorporated in November 2020 and is now raising its seed investment to reach CE/FDA approval.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Device for Precise Application of Bioadhesives to Prevent iPPROM. PMID: 29920508
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 26.05.2021