The Smart Magazine About Medical Technology Innovations

#31 - Emergency Medicine

Q&A. It’s a Small World

Courtesy of Sanovas

Minimally invasive surgical techniques are spreading rapidly, offering reduced post-operative pain and quicker rehabilitation. Ever smaller instruments enable new diagnostic and treatment techniques, while their market is projected to increase from US$13.89 billion in 2016, to US$ 21.47 billion in 2021.


California-based Sanovas Inc. is a life science technology company founded in 2009. The firm currently holds over 150 patents, and is developing new, micro-invasive intervention tools, from catheters and cameras to tissue collection and localized therapy delivery devices. MedicalExpo e-mag  interviewed CEO Larry Gerrans.

MedicalExpo e-magazine: Sanovas has just received a US patent for its Minimally Invasive Nano Oncology System (MINOS). Can you tell us more about it?

Larry Gerrans: MINOS enables clinicians to measure tumor pathophysiology and to reverse hypoxia in therapy-resistant tumors. Localized therapies are delivered to anatomic sites of less than one millimeter diameter in the periphery of the lung and throughout the body, while mitigating systemic toxicities and undesired side effects.

“We want to make inoperable tumors operable.”

Hypoxia is a condition of tumor pathophysiology which limits the impact of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. MINOS allows physicians to measure the partial pressure of oxygen and other biomarkers in tumors, and then deliver hypoxia-reversing, chemo-therapeutic agents directly into the cancerous tissue, sensitizing it to radiation or photodynamic therapy.

We want to make inoperable tumors operable, without violating surrounding nerves and vasculature. MINOS can be used when open surgery or external beam radiation would be detrimental or even contraindicated for the patient.

ME e-magazine: How will your Nanovas system improve localized tumor therapy?

Photodynamic therapy killing oxygenated cancer cells / Courtesy of Sanovas

Photodynamic therapy killing oxygenated cancer cells / Courtesy of Sanovas

Larry Gerrans: The Nanovas suite of drug delivery systems, such as our patented nested balloon catheters, allow clinicians to deliver targeted, tumor-specific treatments through the creation of chambers within a highly specific region of the anatomy. This holds the potential for overcoming one of the greatest hurdles to chemotherapy—systemic toxicity. I’d say we’re about one year out from the market with this kind of technology.

ME e-magazine: Sanovas recently announced its expansion into China. Why this move?

Larry Gerrans: We will establish a venture capital fund and Innovation Center at the Suzhou Institute of Nanotechnology and NanoBionics. This will see upwards of US$75 million invested in the development and growth of our work across a range of disciplines. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has become the gold standard for Western societies. With access to innovative capital severely restricted in the US, this investment will help us in our mission to bring cutting edge, portable, affordable surgical tools to the market, making MIS accessible on a global scale.

About the Author

Daniel Allen is a writer and a photographer. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including CNN, BBC, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, Discovery Channel.

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