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Duke Angel Network invests in vascular graft company InnAVasc Medical

The Duke Angel Network today announced an investment in InnAVasc Medical, Inc. (“InnAVasc”), a Durham-based medical device company that has developed a next-generation vascular graft for use in hemodialysis patients. The Duke Angel Network’s investment in InnAVasc is its first investment in a company formed around intellectual property that was developed at and licensed from the university. The Duke Angel Network led the round.

InnAVasc’s first product, the Bullet Proof Vascular Access Graft, includes novel features to reduce the incidence of thrombosis (clotting within the circularity system), hematomas (collection of blood outside the blood vessel), aneurysm (bulging of blood vessel), and infection. The Bullet Proof graft also increases the speed and reliability of access procedures. The graft’s unique features include a self-sealing access zone, a back-plate to prevent the access needle from puncturing through both sides of the graft, and innovative geometries to ensure reliable access.

InnAVasc was founded by Dr. Jeffrey Lawson, an active vascular surgeon and research leader at Duke whose laboratory has successfully developed a number of molecular, cellular, and tissue engineered technologies. InnAVasc’s CEO, Dr. Joseph Knight, holds an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business as well as a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Dr. Knight was previously in various roles at Medtronic as well as serving as Founder and CEO of Medici Medical Technologies. He is also an inventor of the initial patents of iRhythm Technology.

“The investment in InnAVasc is a perfect example of what the Duke Angel Network was formed to do – support innovative Duke-affiliated startup companies with funds from Duke-affiliated investors,” said John Glushik, the Duke Angel Network’s Managing Director. “We are particularly excited to have worked with Duke’s Office of Licensing & Ventures and the InnAVasc team to be a part of the commercialization of this technology.”

“The Duke Angel Network is an important vehicle to bring investment to Duke affiliated startups,” said Dr. Knight. “These funds are particularly important to early stage companies. InnAVasc is grateful for the investment and partnership of the Duke Angel Network, as well as the broader Duke and Triangle wide community. The capital raised will enable InnAVasc to continue our mission of providing improved vascular access products for patients undergoing hemodialysis.


About InnAVasc

InnAVasc Medical, Inc. is a medical device company founded by Duke University surgeons and scientists, which designs and develops products for vascular access for hemodialysis. The Company’s first technology is an arteriovenous graft (AVG) modification that incorporates two multilayer cannulation chambers, with low bleed technology, that are resistant to posterior and sidewall needle penetration and injury: the Bullet Proof Vascular Access Graft. This production method modifies existing synthetic vascular grafts for immediate hemodialysis access, prevents needle cannulation injuries, and facilitates graft access and safety. Learn more at

About the Duke Angel Network

The Duke Angel Network is focused on helping private companies grow by facilitating the flow capital and support from Duke-affiliated angel investors. Founded in 2015, the Duke Angel Network is investing in companies in which a founder, executive, or board member is a Duke University alumnus, faculty member, staff member, student, or parent. Members (investors) are individual accredited investors with a Duke affiliation. The group targets private companies with the potential for significant growth and financial return. In addition to facilitating investments, the Duke Angel Network leverages the power of the global Duke community to provide guidance and expertise to portfolio companies. Lean more at


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