Innovative Israeli microcatheter is ‘bent’ on saving lives

“Delayed treatment can result in devastating outcomes," said Bendit Technologies CEO Yossi Mazel.

Bendit's microcatheter (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bendit's microcatheter
(photo credit: Courtesy)
When it comes to treatment for strokes or brain aneurysms, there is a race against time.
“The clock is always ticking,” said Yossi Mazel, CEO of Petah Tikva-based Bendit Technologies. “Delayed treatment can result in devastating outcomes.”
Mazel’s company believes it has a solution.
Bendit has developed microcatheters capable of navigating to the brain quicker and more precisely than most on the market.
The novelty is that the doctor can control the tip of the microcatheter from the outside of the body with a handle and a small button.
Mazel explained that today radiologists and neurologists conduct what is known as neuroendovascular therapy. First, they use imaging techniques to diagnose and treat diseases of the brain. Then they leverage tiny catheters, guided through the arteries, to treat the ailment.
Neuroendovascular therapy circumvents the need for traditional open surgery, lowering risks, hospital stays and total recovery time. But, Mazel said, it does come with its own set of challenges.
“Doctors have a series of catheters and some of them are pre-shaped or have to be adapted to the anatomy of the patients they will be used to treat. Doctors rely on their expertise to select the right microcatheters and reach their target area,” Mazel said.
“The older we get, the more torturous our vascular anatomy becomes,” he continued. “Sometimes our arteries become calcified or there are other obstacles on the way to the brain.”
The Bendit microcatheters are meant to make intuitive navigation possible into every blood vessel. It is hollow, which allows doctors to inject diagnostic and therapeutic materials into the vessels of organs, including the brain.
When it comes to treatment for strokes or brain aneurysms, there is a race against time.
“The clock is always ticking,” said Yossi Mazel, CEO of Petah Tikva-based Bendit Technologies. “Delayed treatment can result in devastating outcomes.”

Bendit CEO Yossi Mazel (Credit: COURTESY)Bendit CEO Yossi Mazel (Credit: COURTESY)
Mazel’s company believes it has a solution.
Bendit has developed microcatheters capable of navigating to the brain quicker and more precisely than most on the market.
The novelty is that the doctor can control the tip of the microcatheter from the outside of the body with a handle and a small button.
Mazel explained that today radiologists and neurologists conduct what is known as neuroendovascular therapy. First, they use imaging techniques to diagnose and treat diseases of the brain. Then they leverage tiny catheters, guided through the arteries, to treat the ailment.
Neuroendovascular therapy circumvents the need for traditional open surgery, lowering risks, hospital stays and total recovery time. But, Mazel said, it does come with its own set of challenges.
“Doctors have a series of catheters and some of them are pre-shaped or have to be adapted to the anatomy of the patients they will be used to treat. Doctors rely on their expertise to select the right microcatheters and reach their target area,” Mazel said.
“The older we get, the more torturous our vascular anatomy becomes,” he continued. “Sometimes our arteries become calcified or there are other obstacles on the way to the brain.”
The Bendit microcatheters are meant to make intuitive navigation possible into every blood vessel. It is hollow, which allows doctors to inject diagnostic and therapeutic materials into the vessels of organs, including the brain.
Holding a connected handle with one hand, the doctors can control the tip and rotate it 360 degrees. The company’s 3D navigation system allows the doctor to “go anywhere smoother and faster,” Mazel said. “There is no wasted time.”
Mazel said that strokes are the number one cause of disability in the United States, because of the loss of brain cells that occurs when doctors are trying to treat them.
“The difference between life and death or disability might be a few minutes – and sometimes those precious minutes are lost because of navigation to the brain,” he said.
Strokes are also the third leading cause of death in the US, according to StrokeCenter.org, an independent website for research on the subject. The site says that more than 140,000 Americans die each year from strokes.
Each year, approximately 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke, the site says, reiterating Mazel’s message that “stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.”
In Israel, approximately 18,000 people have a stroke annually, according to the Health Ministry’s website.
Bendit’s microcatheter was first used in Israel in October through the ministry’s compassionate use program by Dr. David Orion of Sheba Medical Center’s Neuro-Interventional & Stroke Center.
He performed what amounted to a life-saving neuro-interventional procedure using the steerable device on a 74-year-old man with a massive brain aneurysm.
Orion explained in a statement that the patient had a giant brain aneurysm that was compressing his brain stem and he had a high risk of brain hemorrhage.
“The previous endovascular procedures we performed with the standard devices were unsuccessful due to this patient’s complicated anatomy and the presence of crucial brain arteries coming out of the aneurysm,” he said. “We requested a compassionate approval from Israel’s Health Ministry to use it on our patient, because we felt it was a life-or-death situation.”
He said using the device could “dramatically change the endovascular field.”
Bendit Technologies has already received FDA approval and a CE Mark for the company’s microcatheter with an indication for peripheral use. It recently submitted its microcatheter for the neurovascular indication. Mazel said he is “quite confident” approval will be granted.
He added that the company is well-funded, having just completed a B round with $7 million invested. Bendit plans to use some of the funds to set up a manufacturing facility in the US.