Stellartech Research Corporation: Smart Devices for Optimizing Clinical Success
Roger A. Stern, Founder, President & CEO
The year was 1988, and Roger A. Stern, Ph.D.—an expert in ultrasound and other energy sources— had a unique idea: a company that would partner with medical device start-ups to develop therapeutic energy delivery systems. Today that company, Stellartech Research Corporation, provides design, development and manufacturing services for a wide array of complex diagnostic and therapeutic devices for customers both large and small.
Stellartech specializes in designing and manufacturing “smart” devices combining electronic capital equipment and single-use catheters and probes. The company is committed to developing a deep understanding of the anatomy and physiology underlying each device’s application in order to optimize its clinical performance.
Stellartech offers customers the benefit of complete in-house capabilities with all the resources needed to take a product “from concept to market”. Product development services include theoretical analysis, modelling and bench testing as well as electronic, mechanical and software engineering. Capabilities also include regulatory assistance and industrial and graphic design. Stellartech acts as a “one-stop shop” for both design and commercial manufacturing, offering customers a streamlined process, eliminating the need to manage multiple vendors. Customers have the advantage of a smooth transfer to commercial manufacturing, with ongoing sustaining engineering and product servicing.
Although Stellartech develops and manufactures a variety of complex medical devices, energy delivery remains the company’s key competence. Over the years, Stellartech has pioneered many energy-based therapies, among them the first temperature-controlled cardiac ablation system and the first balloon-based esophageal ablation system. Stellartech has built a team with deep expertise in the therapeutic energy field, encompassing many different modalities including radiofrequency (RF), cooled RF, microwave, high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), steam vapor and cryogen.
We are uniquely positioned to help companies develop energy delivery devices that are optimized for clinical success
The Silicon Valley-based company excels at “system optimization”, integrating an energy generator with a percutaneous catheter or surgical probe. Its single-use, smart, disposable devices are embedded with sensor technology that constantly monitors energy and tissue parameters, tightly controlling the treatment outcome.
“When it comes to delivering therapeutic energy, it’s key to understand the physics behind the interaction of energy with tissue,” says Stern, founder, president and CEO, “Stellartech has built a team that excels at this, and as a result, we are able to meet some of the most difficult technical challenges involved in energy delivery.”
Stellartech has been key to numerous medical device success stories, often inventing breakthrough technologies for its customers. Some years ago, two physicians approached Stellartech to help them invent a way to endoscopically ablate pre-cancerous esophageal tissue, with the goal of reducing a patient’s chances of developing cancer. Stellartech designed the BarrxTM System to precisely ablate the superficial lining of the esophagus while simultaneously preserving underlying normal tissue. The device was developed at Stellartech using the company’s “incubation model” which allows companies to leverage Stellartech’s infrastructure to minimize capital requirements and achieve speed to market. Working with the two physicians, Stellartech performed not only design, development and manufacturing, but also conducted all preclinical and clinical testing and made the required regulatory submissions to the FDA.
“To date” Stern comments, “this product is the standard of care. The BarrxTM System continues to have a 95 percent market share because no product has been able to compete with it. But most importantly, clinical studies show it to be associated with a high rate of complete eradication of pre-cancerous tissue and reduced risk of progression to esophageal cancer.”
Partnering with companies to develop therapeutic energy devices has helped Stellartech achieve rapid growth. According to Stern, “Energy is used in a variety of applications for almost every organ system in the body, from cardiology to cosmetic surgery. Therapeutic energy is a growth area for both large and small companies. We are uniquely positioned to help companies develop energy delivery devices that are optimized for clinical success.”
Management Roger A. Stern, Founder, President & CEO
Description A pioneer in energy-based therapies, Stellartech brings develops a broad array of devices for many different areas of medicine by leveraging its in-depth knowledge built upon the scientific principles driving the interaction of energy with the tissue. From designing electronic, electromechanical, mechanical, user interface, and software systems to catheters, probes, and other patient-contact devices for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, the company brings in capabilities in diverse areas under one roof. Besides, Stellartech ensures that these designs adapt to meet the clinical needs and regulations, which, in turn, aids in providing superior results and the advantage of speed to market
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