Reshaping the Future of Cardiac Bypass Surgery
We are a developmental stage medical technology company that is revolutionizing heart bypass surgery with an artificial graft called MAVERICS. Founded by Manny Villafaña, Ph.D.Sc., a “Living Legend of Medicine,” our company has developed a graft that allows the heart bypass procedure to be done without harvesting vessels from the body.
About Medical 21
With roughly one million heart bypass surgeries performed each year worldwide and cardiovascular disease as the #1 cause of death globally, clinicians need a better option for a complete revascularization procedure of the heart.
Our MAVERICS graft is a small-diameter flexible tube encased in a nitinol scaffold that eliminates the need to harvest blood vessels from the patient’s legs, arms, and chest. This leads to a higher quality of life for the patient through less pain, decreased procedure and recovery time, and lower risk of infection and complications.
By eliminating the need to harvest vessels from a patient’s arm, leg, and chest, surgical teams can save time and help patients who can then recover faster without additional scarring, pain, or post-op complications.
Our revolutionary artificial graft allows those who currently cannot have bypass surgery — such as people with amputations, severe diabetes, or varicose veins — to be considered for the procedure.
Meet the Team
Led by industry experts with decades of experience in the successful development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales of medical products to global healthcare markets, Medical 21 is reshaping the future of cardiac bypass surgery and the millions of patient lives affected by it.
Manny Villafaña, Ph.D. Sc.
Founder and CEO
Manny Villafaña, Ph.D.Sc., is a nationally-recognized entrepreneur and medical device developer with over 50 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO, Manny started Medical 21 with the goal to significantly improve the quality of life for cardiac bypass surgery patients.
He is globally recognized as a “Living Legend of Medicine,” an honor bestowed on him by The World Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 2006.
Chaid Schwarz, Ph.D.
Head of R & D
Chaid received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa. His research focus is in the field of cardiovascular biomechanics, biomaterials, and the mechanical assessment of soft tissues. At Medical 21, he is leading research and development efforts including the technical design, testing, and preliminary manufacturing of our tissue-engineered arterial bypass graft.
Eric Solien, B.S.
Senior Research Scientist
Eric Solien is an expert in the preclinical development of bypass grafts and served as Senior Surgeon at the American Preclinical Services. As an accomplished preclinical surgeon, he has extensive experience in the application of good laboratory practices (GLP) quality controls and methodologies.
Jeff Vreeman, B.S.
Head of Manufacturing
Jeff Vreeman is a mechanical engineer and medical device expert with extensive experience in nitinol support systems, process development, manufacturing, operations, R&D, and quality control in the medical technology field.
Andrea Sweeney earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota. She has been a business and financial consultant for over 25 years. Andrea partnered with Medical 21 and is facilitating its current financing with CEO Manny Villafaña. Serving as Business Administrator, she fills a variety of additional finance and operation roles for this groundbreaking startup.
The Medical 21, Inc. team has a long, proven history of creating incredible and lasting value in the medical device industry. Medical 21 is Manny Villafaña’s eighth medical device company, having led the previous seven to IPO financing.
In 1972, Manny Villafaña founded CPI/Guidant in Minnesota and developed the very first lithium-powered pacemaker and defibrillator. His technology is incorporated into virtually every defibrillator and pacemaker around the world.
CPI/Guidant was purchased by Boston Scientific for $27 billion.
Villafaña was the founder of St. Jude Medical, Inc. in 1976 and the co-developer of the St. Jude heart valve, which is the most commonly used prosthesis in the world. There are approximately five million patients with the St. Jude heart valve implanted.
St. Jude Medical, Inc. was recently purchased by Abbott Medical of Chicago for $30 billion.
Villafaña then founded ATS Medical and developed the next-generation ATS heart valve, now part of Medtronic, Inc. through a purchase of $400 million in 2010.
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