Out of the roughly 2 million Americans suffering from degenerative heart disease, only about 50,000 of them receive life-saving mitral valve surgery. This is primarily because the most common treatment, an open-heart procedure, can last between three and six hours and is extremely complex and high-risk.

Maryland-based Harpoon Medical plans to revolutionize that process with a new device that could reduce the procedure to just 60 minutes. Using their device, a patient’s chest would remain closed and the heart would continue beating during the procedure. It would cut recovery time from weeks to days and reduce risk factors significantly.

CEO Bill Niland chose Maryland as the company’s launching pad and base for continued research, development and marketing.

Why Maryland? According to Niland, the State offers unique funding opportunities and a vibrant life sciences community, including partnership and licensing opportunities through the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

During early development, Harpoon Medical received the BioMaryland Biotechnology Development Award and BioMaryland LIFE (Leading Innovative Faculty Entrepreneurs) Prize from the BioMaryland Center at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. The company also earned a TEDCO Patent Assistance Grant and Maryland Innovation Initiative Phase III Award.

This non-dilutive funding has been instrumental for the young company, Niland said. 

Learn more about Harpoon Medical and its journey in Maryland in the above video.

Harpoon Medical's device could be used to treat degenerative heart disease.
Harpoon Medical’s device could be used to treat degenerative heart disease.
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