Morgan & Masterson

Making a Difference

Breakthrough Medical Device Innovation for Rheumatic and Degenerative Heart Disease

In 2007, David Williams, then Professor at the University of Liverpool and Peter Zilla, Chris Barnard Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, started to discuss the possibility of developing technologies to treat the large number of children and young adults suffering from and dying of Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) in sub-Saharan Africa. This would have to be ground-breaking innovation since the only theoretical treatment is open-heart surgery, which at a practical level is essentially unavailable to these people. Williams and Zilla, along with their colleague Deon Bezuidenhout, formed a spin-out company, Strait Access Technologies (SAT), to realize this dream, patenting critical innovations that would allow low cost, minimally invasive approaches to heart valve therapy. After several years they obtained a combination of public and private investment and now employ 60 engineers on the projects. David Williams is Founding Director and Technical Director of Strait Access Technologies.
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People Affected Worldwide by RHD & DHD

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Patients Operated Worldwide per year

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Patients in Need Worldwide per year

Strait Access Technologies Patients Map 2020
Strait Access Technologies Patients
Carapetis J.R > et al (2015) Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease NATURE REVIEW Dis Primers doi:10.1038/nrdp.2015.84
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Cost-Effective Solutions

Strait Access Technologies TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement)


Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

TAVR Procedure in Cape Town South Africa

TAVR Procedure

Juvenile sheep with with Rheumatic Heart Disease

As a world-first, SAT offers cost effective and durable transcatheter aortic valve solutions for RHD and DHD patients, in both developed and emerging economies. Specifically, the second generation balloon expandable TAVR valve for rheumatic and degenerative aortic valve disease is designed to treat the entire aortic valve disease spectrum from calcific aortic stenosis to pure aortic regurgitation in patients with non-calcified, compliant annuli.

Strait Access Technologies Logo

Production Facility in Cape Town