The company is opening its headquarters at 412 Travis St. in Lafayette’s Oil Center at 2:30 p.m. Friday. NeuroRescue, originally from Ohio, has moved its business to Lafayette after winning Accelerate South in 2018.
“We took that momentum and forged strong relationships with local businesses,” said Robert Maher, CEO of NeuroRescue. “So we wanted to maintain that momentum and spur economic growth in the area that believed in us so strongly.”
The company’s product, a “Cerebral Cooling Collar,” helps paramedics to maintain patients’ temperatures following cardiac arrest by cooling the blood traveling to the brain.
After fruitless efforts with cold packs, Maher, a firefighter for over 20 years, said he came up with the idea to have the cold packs from sliding off patients. He said the “secret sauce” in NeuroRescue is its ability to be transferred from paramedic to clinician without having to be handled.
Lafayette General Health has partnered with NeuroRescue to begin pilot studies. Along with Acadian Ambulance and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LGH’s Research Department is determining the collar’s efficiency.
The therapeutic cooling has already shown substantial benefits, according to Cian Robinson, executive director of Innovation, Research and Real Estate Investments for Lafayette General Health System.
“To have the ability to conduct the procedure while en route to the hospital and in a directed fashion via a neck collar that cools blood flow via carotid arteries takes the technique to a whole new level,” he said.
“They were given a behind-the-curtain look (at Accelerated South),” Joe Spell, CEO of Tides Medical and NeuroRescue investor, said. “They were able to get in there and meet with the chief medical officer, talk about their technology, figure out how it can be financially viable. And then Lafayette General is going to support them in a clinical trial. With the base and knowledge they have easy access to here, it really made sense for them to move to Louisiana.”
Lafayette is in the center of the “Stroke Belt,” a nine-state region of the U.S. with higher numbers of strokes and other heart-related illnesses.
According to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s, Lafayette Parish has about 80.3 heart-related deaths out of every 100,000 for adults over 35 years old.
Elisabeth Arnold, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center senior director of marketing and communication, said the hospital also is working on new technology to help stroke patients.
“Lourdes has a new software for our imaging modalities that helps to expand the treatment window of a stroke,” she said. “Usually after six hours there isn’t much intervention that can be done to help a patients — now, that is changing.”
Spell said he sees Lafayette as a good place to start a medical company, especially for NeuroRescue.
Lafayette’s health care industry is the largest employer of Lafayette metropolitan residents, which includes Lafayette, Acadia, St. Martin, Iberia and Vermilion parishes.
According to a 2017 count done by Lafayette Economic Development Authority, 30,400 people, 15 percent of the workforce, are health care employees.
The company will also use local businesses such as Noble Plastics, winner of 2019 National Manufacturing Leader award, in Grand Coteau to assisting the building process.