(May 2010) Yale University has spun out a medical device company to commercialize a new device based on the work of surgeon Kurt Roberts, MD, who has performed groundbreaking appendectomies and gallbladder surgery using a technique that requires a minimum number of incisions. The device will facilitate the application and adoption of Robert’s techniques.
Through the efforts of the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, and with the support of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI), the device will be designed and developed by NovaTract Surgical, LLC, based in Guilford, Connecticut.NovaTract was founded in April by Roberts, Eleanor Tandler, who will serve as CEO of the company, and Yale University.
Roberts uses the techniques of single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) to access the abdominal cavity. This minimum-incision surgery results in a much lower risk of postoperative complications (such as infections), and a much easier and faster recovery.
Initial development of the device is being funded by a pilot award from YCCI’s Clinical and Translational Science Award grant from the National Institutes of Health. Endocrinologist Robert Sherwin, MD, director of the YCCI, says, “I am pleased that YCCI is able to participate in helping a Yale clinical scientist translate his academic research from the lab directly into better patient care.”
Connecticut Innovations, an agency created by the Connecticut legislature to stimulate the development of new technologies and products, is also investing in the new venture.