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Voyager Biomedical, Inc. is committed to improving the lives of dialysis patients through the development of a novel vascular access device known as the ARK. The ARK has been designed to facilitate targeted needle placement and strengthen the vein by serving as a supportive exoskeleton. In addition, the ARK will increase patient comfort, and reduce stress and increase efficiency for caregivers, while benefiting the payer system by decreasing the surgeries necessary to enable long-term vascular access.

Medical Problem
There are over half a million patients in the US who depend on dialysis treatments to stay alive. Long term dialysis requires vascular access which is most commonly achieved with a fistula. However, 30-50% of all new fistulas fail and existing fistulas fail on average every 3 years. With a limited number of sites available for vascular access, it is important to properly care for those sites to maintain its patentabilty. The numerous, repeat needle punctures required for dialysis treatment can damage fistulas over time. This can lead to expensive surgical interventions to restore access or the need to create a new fistula in a new location.

Solution
Building on the buttonhole technique, the Ark is a multifunctional device poised to be a game changer for multiple aspects of the current standard of dialysis care. The Ark serves as both a target and guide for needles while protecting the fistula, enabling “One stick, No miss” access that management believes will increase the life of the fistula. Second, the ARK will reduce the number of surgical failures by enhancing the diameter of the fistula, thereby creating a better target. And finally, the ARK will increase the chances of restoring the usefulness of an existing fistula that has failed.

Technology

Technology

The ARK is an implantable titanium device designed to eliminate common problems associated with venous access.  The porous titanium design promotes the ingrowth of surrounding soft tissues and reinforces the strength of the vein. The built-in needle port promotes a collagen scaffold that seals itself once a needle has been withdrawn.  The raised ridge of the needle port makes the ARK easily palpable beneath the skin, eliminating excessive punctures while improving patient comfort and caregiver efficiency.

PROBLEM
There are over half a million patients in the US who depend on dialysis treatments to stay alive. Long term dialysis requires vascular access which is most commonly achieved with a fistula. However, 30-50% of all new fistulas fail and existing fistulas fail on average every 3 years. With a limited number of sites available for vascular access, it is important to properly care for those sites to maintain its patentabilty. The numerous, repeat needle punctures required for dialysis treatment can damage fistulas over time. This can lead to expensive surgical interventions to restore access or the need to create a new fistula in a new location.

SOLUTION
Building on the buttonhole technique, the Ark is a multifunctional device poised to be a game changer for multiple aspects of the current standard of dialysis care. The Ark serves as both a target and guide for needles while protecting the fistula, enabling “One stick, No miss” access that management believes will increase the life of the fistula.  Second, the ARK will reduce the number of surgical failures by enhancing the diameter of the fistula, thereby creating a better target. And finally, the ARK will increase the chances of restoring the usefulness of an existing fistula that has failed. 

 

Our Team

Founding Team Members

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ALAN GLOWCZWSKI, MD
Cofounder & CEO

As an interventional radiologist, Dr. Glowczwski has over 20 years of working with dialysis patients. During this time, he witnessed the problems associated with current vascular technologies. Compassion for his patients motivated him to conceive the ARK as a solution to vascular access complications and ultimately led him to found Voyager Biomedical.

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APRIL LOVELADY, PhD
Cofounder & CTO

Dr. Lovelady has worked on projects ranging from control systems to bioenergy production. Because of the breadth of her experience with the development of systems from concept to completion, she was recruited by Voyager to oversee device design development, preclinical/clinical trials, and to identify areas of potential cost reduction while maximizing company performance with respect to technical tasks.

Advisory Board

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WILLIAM COHN, MD
Scientific Advisor & Serial Entrepreneur

As Director of the Center for Technology and Innovation at the Texas Heart Institute, Dr. Cohn has a passion for medical device development with more than 90 US patents granted or pending, and another 60 international patents for his medical innovations. Dr. Cohn recognized the synergy that exists between his company Total Vascular Access (TVA) and Voyager Biomedical. TVA has developed the EverlinQTM, a minimally invasive device that is used to create fistulas. Dr. Cohn serves on Voyager’s advisory board providing valuable experience and insight.

 

Robert Smith, MD
Alex Smith, M.Eng