Vaporox, a Denver based medical device startup, piqued investor interest at the recent “Angel Capital Summit 2019” sponsored by the Rockies Venture Club (RVC). Vaporox then finished first in that conference’s “Venture Bucks” competition (see photo below), which bestows a coveted “People’s Choice” award for the best investment opportunity.
Vaporox’s technology, Vaperous Hyperoxia Therapy (“VHT”) is a breakthrough technology for healing skin wounds. VHT employs ultrasonic waves to create an aqueous vapor containing an antimicrobial. VHT penetrates into the recesses of the wound, and ultimately through the cell walls. VHT is both much more effective and more comfortable for patients than existing treatments. In a clinical study, VHT healed 87% of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) that had defied the current “gold standard” of wound care.
In addition to DFUs, VHT is effective—and FDA 510(k) cleared—for healing 6 other kinds of skin wounds, including amputations, burns, frostbite, gangrene and pressure ulcers (bed sores).
Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a huge problem in this country. To give you a sense of the magnitude, the cost to our medical system for treating patients with DFUs is greater than the cost of the five most expensive cancers combined. Unfortunately, DFUs often lead to amputations. For a diabetic, an amputation far too often amounts to a death sentence.
Here is one VHT success story. Ken Mitchell, a diabetic from California, had one of these chronic foot wounds. Ken needed a pancreas and kidney transplant, but he didn’t qualify for the surgery because of a six-year-old DFU on his foot. His doctor put him in to a clinical trial of VHT, and it closed his wound in just nine weeks. Ken subsequently received the transplant, and he is doing well today.
Vaporox is mounting a single-arm clinical study in conjunction with three prominent Denver-based podiatrists that will provide VHT to 30 DFU patients. This study is underway as of mid-June and showing impressive early results. One purpose of the study is to get papers based upon the data generated by the study published in peer-reviewed journals. This, in turn, should enhance the ability of healthcare providers using VHT devices to more easily get reimbursement from third-party payers.
Vaporox has a plan to fully commercialize VHT and is in the process of raising $1.530 million (including the $125,000 already invested by industry insiders), to begin design work on a “Gen2” device suitable for large-scale use, and to accelerate the adoption of VHT.