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U Students Collect Accolades for Catheter Innovation


A company that got its start as a University of Utah student-led project has won a Utah Innovation Award in the Life Science – Medical Device category. Light Line Catheter by Veritas Medical LLC, a former Center for Medical Innovation & Bench-to-Bedside team, accepted the honor at the annual awards banquet on May 11.

"The most exciting part for us is knowing that we've been told ‘no' so many times before," said Veritas Medical CEO Nate Rhodes who launched the company while studying bioengineering at the U. "It's really exciting when you start to hear those yeses. It means you're on the right track."

The award represents more momentum for the startup company, which has already raised $450,000 since first competing in Bench-to-Bedside in 2012. Rhodes hopes his Light Line Catheter, which uses lasers to kill infection, will be cleared by the FDA in 2017.

We were really excited; it's definitely a pretty big honor," Rhodes said of learning he'd won. "A lot of the previous winners, especially in the Medical Device category, have gone on to do really well in the market. A few have even been acquired.

In addition to Rhodes, the key team members are: James Allen, vice president of engineering; John Langell, chief medical officer; Mitch Barneck, lead design engineer; Vicki Farrar, advisory board; Martin de la Presa, clinical supervisor and Ahrash Poursaid, co-founder.

Another project that began at the U., PreTRM Test by Sera Prognostics, was one of two finalists in the Life Science – Biotech category.

The annual Utah Innovation Awards recognize inventions and breakthroughs in eight categories. In addition to the two health care-related categories, contestants vie for awards in Clean Technology and Energy; Computer Hardware/Electrical Devices, Consumer Software (Including Social Media and Mobile Apps); Enterprise Software, Cloud and Big Data; and Outdoor and Consumer Products.