A success story: experimentation at Gemelli confirms the effectiveness of the treatment.

July 2018. Months of work, day and night, thanks to the intervention of an excellent team – cardio surgeons and veterinarians – at the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome. And the initial results confirm the validity of the treatment developed by BCI (BioCompatibility Innovation), the innovative startup from Padua that utilizes the action of naturally derived active principles to double the duration of animal-origin cardiac valve substitutes. “The treatment applied to the valves is compatible with the physiology of the animals in which they have been implanted,” explain Alessandro Gandaglia and Filippo Naso, biologists and co-founders with the physician and entrepreneur Ugo Stefanelli of BCI. “We can affirm that the valve remains competent and suitable, without altering physiological parameters, thus confirming the total absence of toxicity of the treatment and its safety for implantation in humans. The experimentation will continue for several more months, but the results are fully reassuring.

Professor Massetti’s Team

The valves treated with the patented FACTA methodology developed by BCI are being hosted by common pigs. Leading the team conducting the experiments is Professor Massimo Massetti, director of the Cardiovascular Area of the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli in Rome and full professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The second part of the study involves experimentation on “knockout” pigs, genetically modified to have a physiological system even more similar to that of humans.

Interest beyond borders

Meanwhile, BCI, a startup that has already received 750,000 euros in funding, has also been awarded the “Seal of Excellence” certificate by the Horizon 2020 evaluation committee of the European Union. This international recognition is confirmed by the significant interest BCI has garnered worldwide. In Italy, in Europe, and finally in Beijing, during the invitation to the Global Innovation Technology Transfer Convention, organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in China. It’s an open innovation platform for startups, companies, and institutions aimed at accelerating their growth process and accessing Asian markets through collaborations with investors and companies on-site. For example, AIRmaker, a platform located in the technological park of Ljubljana, connects European startups with two of the most vibrant and developing ecosystems in Asia: Singapore and Hong Kong. The next appointment is already set: in September 2018, the BCI team will fly to Bordeaux, France, for the sixteenth world congress of the International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology (ISACB), where researchers will present their work focusing on demonstrating how the FACTA treatment is effective in preventing the onset of calcification processes even when applied to valves not traditionally fixed with glutaraldehyde.