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MBA grad behind startup developing new blood testing device

Photo of John ZakThe combination of a BW MBA in entrepreneurship and a medical degree has prepared John Zak, MBA '05, for the world of health care finance and startups as he looks for promising health care ideas to build into businesses. Now, Zak is the founder and CEO of XaTek Inc., which is developing a medical device, the ClotChip, to make life easier and treatment less expensive for patients who take blood thinners.

The ClotChip is about the size of a cellphone and uses a finger-prick blood sample to analyze blood clotting, providing results in half an hour or less. The device applies an electrical field to a drop of blood placed on its sensor and can then measure the blood's clotting ability as well as the quality of the clot and the amount of time it takes to form.

Zak initially funded the startup himself, recognizing the importance of this new device. With a new class of blood thinners bringing new risks along with their improvements, the ClotChip addresses a real need by allowing doctors to monitor how patients are responding to their treatment. "This is hugely useful information clinically," Zak stated in an article for The Plain Dealer.

A 200-person trial for ClotChip was conducted this summer and another will be held this fall specifically focusing on patients with hemophilia. ClotChip is well on its way to Food and Drug Administration approval and hitting the market in a few years, with XaTek having recently raised $9.1 million in funding to help carry out further trials.

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