New start-up company offers alternative treatment for cardiovascular disease

Angiograft, co-founded by recent chemcial engineering graduate Sindhu Row, PhD, develops a way to make artificial blood vessels for people with heart disease and could help reduce the costs associated with coronary bypass surgery.

by Jane Stoyle Welch

Published August 27, 2016

In the United States, 350,000 coronary artery bypass grafting procedures are performed annually, costing $26 billion in healthcare expenses. Two thirds of the cost comes from secondary contributors, such as extended hospital stays and readmissions resulting from donor site complications.

“The product is a self-regenerating blood vessel, available off-the-shelf, that once implanted, is capable of regenerating with the patients’ own cells making it biologically functional.”
Sindhu Row, COO
Angiograft LLC

Angiograft LLC, a new company out of the University at Buffalo’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, seeks to reduce these costs by making bioengineered blood vessels for people with heart disease.

Sindhu Row, who in February 2016 earned her PhD in chemical engineering, together with her advisor Stelios Andreadis, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Daniel D. Swartz, an expert in blood vessel grafting, surgery and pediatrics, are moving the product forward with clinical trials.

“The product is a self-regenerating blood vessel, available off-the-shelf, that once implanted, is capable of regenerating with the patients’ own cells making it biologically functional,” said Row.

“The acellular technology employs covalent chemistry to fortify the collagenous grafts with anti-clotting factors as well as growth factors which attract the patients’ own cells to the graft site. This enables A-TEV (acellular tissue engineered vessel) to be manufactured within just one day, and be available off-the-shelf, a tremendous advantage for clinical applications” she continued.

The company’s A-TEV is designed as a replacement vascular graft, which is often required in coronary artery bypass grafting procedures. These procedures typically use the patient’s own veins, however, people with conditions such as diabetes and hypertension often do not have viable veins and are thus unable to undergo the surgery.  The technology could, therefore, offer these patients an alternative through its unique design.

The technology and product is protected under a provisional patent (62/254,347) with intellectual property rights belonging to Angiograft, LLC.

The team was recently among 80 semi-finalists in the 2016 OneStart competition, the world’s largest accelerator for startups that seek to improve human health.  They were selected from a pool of 750 startups from over 50 countries.

They were also finalists in UB’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition and Bright Buffalo Niagara’s Entrepreneur Expo. More recently, Angiograft was named one of 142 semifinalists in 43 North, a $5 million startup competition held in Buffalo, New York.