John Wong, Fluid Biomed - Studio Interview | LSI Europe ‘22


John Wong

John Wong

CEO, Fluid Biomed
Read Biography
Fluid Biomed is a VC-backed pre-clinical medical device start-up that has developed the world’s first bio-resorbable stent to cure brain aneurysms.


Nick Talamantes  0:00  

John, thank you so much for stopping by here and visiting us at LSI Europe. Tell me a little bit about yourself first. 


John Wong  0:05  

Yeah, my pleasure. So my name is John Wong. I'm co founder and CEO of Fluid Biomed, where a preclinical medical device startup based out of Calgary, Canada, and we're developing the next generation of brain stents to cure aneurysms. I'm a neurosurgeon. I've been in practice for almost 20 years trained in Canada and at Yale have my MBA from from Wharton, and along the way along the journey of practice of curing patients with stroke and aneurysms. Myself and my co founder, who's also a neurosurgeon and a biomedical engineer, we develop the next generation of stents. Stents nowadays are these mesh tubes that we insert into a blood vessel, and it helps heal the blood vessel. stents currently are made out of metal, so they're permanent. And they're although they are flexible, they are inert. And, and there are some challenges with them in that. For patients, although they're treated with a stent, about a quarter of them of quarter of patients, they don't cure their aneurysm. So there's a lot of work that still needs to be done. What my startup is doing is developing the world's first bowel resorbable stents. So after you implanted into the blood vessel, it will heal the aneurysm and then disappear over time. surgeons can now treat a wider variety of aneurysms more efficiently, more safely, potentially.


Nick Talamantes  1:26  

That's incredible. Why would we use a stent to treat an aneurysm when we have flow diverters and coiling? What makes what you're doing Better than the gold standard? 


John Wong  1:39  

Yeah well, you know, medicines always been marked by the series of milestones and improvements. You know, 30 years ago, we I had to open up the skull to treat an aneurysm. And you're right, nowadays, we can go from inside of the bloody body with tiny wires and tubes, and release these coils into the aneurysm go into the weakest part of the aneurysm to plug it up, so to speak. Then the next phase where the stents these flow, diverting stents made out of metal, but again, not perfect technology. 25% of patients don't cure their aneurysms with existing technology. So we think our our project our advancement here is to treat more patients with with different types of aneurysms more effectively, more safely, because we can actually combine treatments, not only can you put in our stent, but you can also put in coils at the same time. So that provides tremendous reassurance to the patients as well as the physicians, that they're doing the right thing at one time.


Nick Talamantes  2:36  

That's excellent. You know, your bio resorbable stent. The technology has had some challenges in the past, you know, Boston Scientific Abbott, they've all I believe they've abandoned their coronary bioresorbable scaffolds. What have you learned from maybe their failures? And how are you basically the next generation of bio resorbable?


John Wong  3:00  

Well, we've been in stealth mode now for about six or seven years. And so we've been working on this technology behind the scenes quietly. And as you know, the heart is very different than the brain overall. And that disease that the cardiologists are treating with their, with their stents with their bowel resorbable stents completely different than what we're trying to treat in the heart, you're trying to break open a narrowing. So the stents have to be stiff, they have to be, they have to be firm, and they're typically what we call balloon mounted, they have to stretch the blood vessel open our stent, we want to put it very delicately into the blood vessel because it's a weakness. It's an aneurysm. So our stent is much more flexible, much more thin. In fact, our our stent struts are about three times less dense than, say, the coronary stent. So the way the analogy I like to say is that just because something has four wheels doesn't make it the same thing. You can have a tractor, like a coronary stent, or you gonna have a Ferrari like our stuff. So I think it's a very different product overall,


Nick Talamantes  3:59  

Very cool. Tell me a bit about the research that you guys have done in developing this bioresorbable stent?


John Wong  4:05  

Well, again, my co founder is also a biomedical engineer, and in addition to being a neurosurgeon, so we've had numerous trainees in our laboratory working on our product working on the whole concept of this bioresorbable technology. At this point, we have implanted our stenting, two scores of animal models and cured, cured aneurysms in in these in these animal models. And so it really gives us a lot of hope that our technology can be leveraged to the human condition to treat patients because patient with a burst aneurysm and burst brain aneurysm a third of the time, they will pass away they'll succumb and so I think that if we're able to move from the laboratory to the beds side, so to speak, and help these people, I think that's going to be a tremendous advancement.


Nick Talamantes  5:04  

Absolutely. You know, we've heard a lot at this conference of talk about people and why building the right team and finding the right partners is so integral to what innovators such as yourselves are doing. Could you maybe talk a little bit about your experience in building the right team and finding those partners?


John Wong  5:23  

Yeah, well, I, I totally agree. It's all about the team. It's not even about the technology. In fact, my co founder and I have known each other for 20 years incredible human being incredibly smart and talented, again, not only a neurosurgeon, but also an engineer. And we came upon the idea after we decide to work together, because we felt that we, with our two skill sets, we had the ability to really transform what we do as doctors, no, as a surgeon, I can only help one patient at a time. By taking this technology from concept to the lab, eventually, hopefully to the clinic, we can help 1000s of patients around the world. So that's a key driver for us as well, because a brain aneurysm and and the consequent stroke. It's terrible overall. And so if we can avoid that disability, avoid the sadness that follows. It'll make all of this worth it.


Nick Talamantes  6:22  

What else were you guys looking at before you did landed on aneurysm? Let's let's try to let's try to fix this.


John Wong  6:29  

Yeah. Well, this is a big enough challenges challenge as it is already. We've got a ton of other ideas. Stay tuned for part two.


Nick Talamantes  6:37  

Well, I look forward to it. And I hope to see you at the next conference so that we can talk about part two.


John Wong  6:41  

It's been a pleasure.


Nick Talamantes  6:42  

 It's been a pleasure, John. 


John Wong  6:43  

Thank you.


Nick Talamantes  6:43  

 Thank you so much.


LSI USA '24 is filling fast. Secure your spot today to join Medtech and Healthtech leaders in Dana Point.


Share this video

Companies We Work With