GraftWorx Wins Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels 1st Pitch Life Science Competition

NEW YORK, June 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels (MABA) announces today that GraftWorx ( was chosen as "Best in Show" at MABA's 1st Pitch Life Science event, which took place at the New York Genomics Center on June 3, 2015. Graftworx is a medical device company that has developed a unique vascular prosthetic incorporating a sensor that can alert physicians when blood flow is blocked to dangerous levels.

According to David J. Kuraguntla, CEO of GraftWorx, each year, millions of lives are threatened by peripheral artery disease (PAD), where plaque restricts blood flow and can lead to limb loss and organ failure. In advanced cases after non-surgical options have been exhausted, clinicians use implantable prosthetic devices to reroute blood around the blockage and promote normal blood flow. While this treatment is often effective in the short term, the prosthetic itself will become blocked, which leads to expensive, debilitating outcomes if it goes undetected.

To solve this problem, GraftWorx has designed smart vascular prosthetics with a built in sensor that can detect and accurately measure restenosis formation and progress, along with monitoring other hemodynamic parameters of the patient. Well before the prosthetic has reached failure, it should automatically alert the clinician so that they can bring in the patient for a simple, safe, outpatient angioplasty. This allows both the clinician and patient to avoid the catastrophic results of undetected prosthetic failure, such as an amputation or prosthetic replacement.

"GraftWorx is grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the 1st Pitch Life Sciences event," said Mr. Kuraguntla. "The candid feedback from the investors will help us hone in on the key elements of our business model and the great questions from the audience will help us clarify our story."

"Graftworx stood out in its potential to disrupt the market for treatments in its area, in this case, peripheral arterial disease," said Stephen Goodman, partner at Pryor Cashman, and co-founder of Mid Atlantic Bio Angels, which puts on the 1st Pitch events. "The audience recognized both the persuasiveness of the company's business plan and the mastery of the presenter."

"The company's ground-breaking concept of adding a flow sensor to bypass grafts is simple in concept, but it's technically difficult to put all the necessary pieces in place to actually achieve," added Arthur Klausner, CEO of both Jade Therapeutics and Gem Therapeutics as well as one of the 1st Pitch Life Sciences event judges. "They seem to be well on their way toward meeting this goal."

About 1st Pitch Life Sciences.

At a 1st Pitch event (, early stage life sciences and healthcare companies make a 15-minute presentation to a panel of experienced life science investors and consultants, followed by a 15-minute audience Q&A. However, where actual investors would then ask the presenting company to leave the room during their subsequent discussion, presenting companies at 1st Pitch are invited to hear the panel constructively critique the company's presentation, business model and perceived viability in the market.

About MABA

Mid Atlantic Bio Angels ( is a group of active angel investors, which meets in New York City monthly (except July and August) solely to hear from pre-screened early-stage life science companies. MABA members consist of individuals from Delaware to Massachusetts with significant expertise and experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, including former and current corporate executives, doctors and Ph.D. scientists with product development backgrounds, successful medical entrepreneurs and analyst/investors focused on life sciences. MABA's goal is to create an environment where the depth of investors' knowledge coupled with the pre-screening of presenting companies enhances the potential for meaningful investment.

CONTACT: Jules Abraham JQA Partners, Inc. 917-885-7378 jabraham@jqapartners.comSource: Mid Atlantic Bio Angels