CorInnova Awarded “2017 InnoSTARS” Prize for Its Non-Blood-Contacting, Soft Robotic Heart Assist Device as Alternative to LVADs for Treatment of Heart Failure

“2017 InnoSTARS” competition connects U.S.-based innovators and companies with Chinese investors, corporates, and strategic partners

Beyond Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs): could CorInnova’s soft robot be the new paradigm for treatment of Heart Failure?

HOUSTON--()--CorInnova Inc., an emerging medical device company developing novel technology for the treatment of Heart Failure, announced today that it was awarded second prize in the “2017 InnoSTARS” life science competition for its EpicHeart™ soft-robotic heart assist device.

Hosted by the US China Innovation Alliance (UCIA), China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC), China Association for International Science and Technology Cooperation (CAISTC), and supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of People’s Republic of China (MOST), the competition provided U.S.-based innovators and companies with a better understanding of the opportunities available to companies interested in doing business in China as well as well as direct interface with qualified Chinese partners and investors. By invitation as a semi-finalist, CorInnova was awarded the trip to China and CorInnova CEO William Altman traveled to Beijing, Tianjin, and Kunming as one of eight semi-finalist life science companies to compete, meet with investors and visit innovation hubs. A total of 300 companies applied to the 2017 InnoSTARS competition across several industry sectors for the opportunity to participate in the business-to-business matchmaking in China.

“This InnoSTARS recognition is further validation that our EpicHeart™ technology is innovative and groundbreaking. We believe it will lead to a new paradigm for heart failure treatment,” said William Altman, CEO of CorInnova. “Currently, less than 2% of end-stage heart failure patients are treated by transplant or by LVADS. Only about 8% are considered eligible for LVADs due to the invasive surgery required for implantation.

“The Chinese and U.S. judges appraised the eight semi-finalist companies not only on the merits of their technology and its ability to fill a large and important unmet medical need, but also on the fit of the technology to the Chinese market,” Altman explained. “In this regard, we were very excited to see that the Chinese judges thought EpicHeart was a good fit for, and would find ready adoption in, the large and growing Chinese healthcare market.

“We believe that our new approach with EpicHeart™ will potentially quadruple the number of patients who could benefit from a minimally invasive heart assist device,” added Altman. “Like the introduction of pacemakers and ICDs to patients with electrical abnormalities affecting heart function, EpicHeart™ has the potential to transform the treatment of heart failure patients worldwide.”

Click here to see how CorInnova’s EpicHeart™ soft robotic, non-blood-contacting heart assist device is delivered minimally invasively to support heart function.

About Heart Failure (HF)
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body’s needs. There is no cure. About six million people in the U.S. have heart failure. The one million U.S. & EU patients in end-stage congestive heart failure have an extremely poor prognosis (40% two-year mortality). Transplant is the preferred treatment, but only 4,500 hearts are available worldwide. Increasingly, advanced left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are used to prolong life, but their utilization is limited by invasive surgery, invasive attachment to the heart and aorta, and blood contact, leading to adverse events such as blood clots and stroke, as well as bleeding from necessary anti-coagulant therapy and blood damage. Only about 8,000 chronic LVADs are implanted annually.

About CorInnova Technology
CorInnova has developed a direct cardiac compression device whose technology is a significant break with the prior art. CorInnova’s biventricular device is a collapsible thin-film pneumatically actuated soft robotic device that surrounds both ventricles of the heart. Air inflates the device in synchrony with the heart and increases cardiac output by gently squeezing the heart. CorInnova has also developed an innovative collapsible self-expanding device design that simplifies and speeds implantation. Due to the minimally invasive technology, hospital stays could potentially be reduced from 30 days to 4 to 6 days, compared to LVADs, and overall adverse events compared to LVADs could be reduced up to 30 to 40%. CorInnova’s device can potentially be used for a range of end-stage heart failure patients for cardiac assist, ranging from short-term “Bridge to Decision” use, medium-term “Bridge to Transplant” use, and all the way to permanent “Destination Therapy” use. Diastolic as well as systolic heart failure patients may benefit from the technology. Diastolic heart failure patients currently have no approved device treatment.

About CorInnova Inc.
CorInnova is a medical device company founded to commercialize technology developed by the Cardiac Mechanics Laboratory of Dr. John C. Criscione, Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. The company has been supported by a group of private investors, a major investment from the UK-based Wellcome Trust (Translation Fund Award No. 104613); federal institutions including the NIH, National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI), and National Science Foundation (NSF); and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas. For more information, please visit

CAUTION: The CorInnova technology EpicHeart™ is not approved for human use at this time.


Ronald Trahan Associates
Ronald Trahan, APR, +1-508-816-6730

Release Summary

CorInnova Awarded “2017 InnoSTARS” Prize for Its Non-Blood-Contacting, Soft Robotic Heart Assist Device


Ronald Trahan Associates
Ronald Trahan, APR, +1-508-816-6730