Tevosol merges with global biotechnology company to launch 'groundbreaking' transplant solutions


By Hiba Kamal-Choufi

Edmonton-based medical device startup, Tevosol, is expanding its global footprint after it struck a deal to merge with Bridge to Life, a leading global supplier of organ preservation solutions.

Under the new alliance, Bridge to Life has made a "significant financial commitment" to manufacture, trial, and launch Tevosol's portable ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) machine and normothermic organ preservation platform.

"Partnering with Bridge to Life, with their extensive global reach, robust technical support coverage, and clinical education programs, will allow Tevosol to reach more patients with this lifesaving technology," said Tevosol's co-founder Dr. Darren Freed, who will now be the chief scientific officer at Bridge to Life.

Edmonton's Tevosol merges with global biotechnology company to commercialize its Ex-Vivo Organ Support System. (Courtesy of University Hospital Foundation)

Edmonton's Tevosol merges with global biotechnology company to commercialize its Ex-Vivo Organ Support System. (Courtesy of University Hospital Foundation)

Tevosol was founded in 2015 by University of Alberta surgeons Dr. Freed and Dr. Jayan Nagendran, who developed the EVOSS Ex-Vivo Organ Support System to increase life-saving opportunities for patients waiting for a lung transplant.

EVOSS is a portable warm perfusion machine that helps preserve the function of donor organs for longer periods of time. It can supply the lungs with blood and oxygen and keep them warm, similar to the conditions inside the body. Tevosol completed its first human lung transplants in 2019 with a study published in Nature Communications. EVOSS Lung clinical trials are scheduled to begin in 2021.

"This strategic investment exemplifies our mission to serve the transplantation community by delivering a complete range of innovative organ preservation technologies," said Bridge to Life CEO Stevan Schweighardt. "Together we can fulfill the great promise of this emerging clinical practice, and we're already working on exciting projects beyond lung transplantation and a host of other possibilities for the future." 

Competing with companies from Europe and the U.S., Tevosol's Ex-Vivo Organ Support System won NASA's iTech 2020 competition after a three-minute presentation by Dr. Nagendran.

"It's reassuring that a company started in Edmonton and technology that's developed right here at home is actually being recognized at an international level and actually has an application, potentially, with deep space travel," Dr. Nagendran told Global News.

Dr. Nagendran will give a presentation on the system on Feb. 25 in a virtual webinar, hosted by the University Hospital Foundation.