Medical-device startup plans to hire 20 locally this year
SAUSALITO — Sanovas Inc. today announced it will expand its corporate headquarters in Marin County’s southernmost city and start local assembly of key components for its microsurgical devices, used in diagnosing and treating cancer and other chronic diseases.
The expansion comes just ahead the company’s plan to file for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The new facility ultimately would produce Sanova’s commercial products. The privately held company said it has more than 25 multinational patents pending.
The new plant will be at 30 Liberty Ship Way, which is adjacent to its existing offices in Suite 110-B at 85 Liberty Ship. The total expansion will consist of 4,700 total square feet, including 3,500 square feet that will accommodate the manufacturing site and additional office space, according to Sanovas.
“Sanovas’ headquarters is a natural choice for our manufacturing site, as it allows us to maintain the highest level of quality control over the most proprietary components of our technology platform,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Gerrans said. “These facilities will provide us with the ability to attract the very best talent from within the life sciences community right here in the Bay Area.”
Sanovas is moving into the new location now and expects to have the manufacturing space built out in the next few weeks, the company said. The expansion includes plans to hire at least 20 new employees in 2012 across multiple platforms, particularly in engineering and regulatory. The manufacturing operations are new for Sanovas. Initially, it will be manufacturing core components of its technology in quantities in accordance with a new line of products. It will be pre-production until the company can go into full production upon FDA approval. The company said it expects to continue manufacturing those components in Sausalito as it ramps up for commercialization.
Sanovas’ microsurgery platform is designed to give surgeons the ability to access and understand previously inaccessible areas of the body, enabling them to diagnose, treat and deliver drug and immune therapies to small-diameter anatomy in what are said to be entirely new ways.
The technology was developed by veterans of the minimally invasive devices field, according to the company. The microsurgical technology utilizes what Sanovas says is the world’s smallest surgical camera to visualize and treat difficult-to-reach areas of the body.
The camera is connected to the end of a steerable catheter, which is used to deliver additional tools for collecting tissue samples, analyzing and removing tumors and delivering drug and immune therapies to targeted locations within the deepest reaches of the body.
Sanovas plans to file a 510(K) premarket notification with the FDA in the first half of 2012. If approved, the company would begin full-scale manufacturing by the end of the year. Initially, Sanovas intends to market its tools for the treatment of lung cancer and pulmonary disease.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women worldwide. Nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. die from lung disease each year, according to the American Lung Association.
“With nearly 1 in 7 Americans currently suffering from a chronic pulmonary disease and another 96 million at risk, there is an urgent humanitarian need for these next-generation solutions,” Mr. Gerrans said.
Mr. Gerrans and Chief Technology Officer Erhan Gunday started Sanovas (www.sanovas.com, 415-729-9391) in Walnut Creek in 2010 and relocated the company to Sausalito last year.
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