“We do kind of feel like the Giants,” Skidmore said during a Press interview in 2010. “It always takes a team to be successful and we have a good, strong team behind us.”
So is it coincidence that the Giants win the World Series again this year – at the same time Halt receives FDA clearance on his company’s groundbreaking Acessa Procedure?
“Hey, what can we say? The Bay Area just rocks,” laughed Skidmore. “It’s been an amazing year.”
There’s no denying it’s been a season of triumphs for the start-up medical company. Founded in 2004, Halt – short for Hysterectomy Alternatives – was created with the express purpose of manufacturing and developing the medical device designed to destroy fibroids in the uterus and ostensibly eliminate the need for hundreds of thousands of hysterectomies in the United States every year.
Last month, Halt received clearance from the FDA to manufacture and produce their product and procedure – a minimally invasive outpatient therapy that destroys fibroids through a technology called radiofrequency ablation. Each fibroid is eliminated by applying the energy through a small needle that spreads out like a fan, pinpointing the fibroids yet not affecting the surrounding normal uterine tissue. The destroyed tissue is then completely reabsorbed.
“Approximately 80 percent of women have fibroids, and of those, 13 percent have serious problems with them,” said Rick Spero, Halt’s vice president of research and development. “This is all about giving women choices.”
Fibroids – benign tumors or growths that occur on the walls of the uterus – are common. Their cause is not know, but can often be identified by such symptoms as excessive bleeding, frequent urination, a feeling of fullness and/or bloating and painful sex. Traditionally they have been removed via surgery or by undergoing a hysterectomy.
What the Halt system offers is a faster, safer and more complete ablation of the fibroids without such extensive surgery. The procedure, called laparoscopic surgery, in most cases involves only two incisions a quarter inch or less in length.
“I say, ‘Ablate the fibroids; save a uterus,’” said Skidmore. “Very simply, we want to become the standard of care for saving the uterus.”
While Halt’s successes have the potential to save lives and provide a higher quality of life for women around the globe, the company is also making an impact a little closer to home.
“Having Halt here in town is a great thing,” said Brentwood City Manager Paul Eldridge. “We definitely think that the success of Halt is a success for the city. It wasn’t that long ago that San Jose didn’t look like Silicon Valley at all. So when people ask about technology-oriented businesses in Brentwood, I don’t say, ‘Why Brentwood?’ I say, ‘Why not?’”
“We do kind of feel like the poster children for Brentwood – and that’s a good thing,” said Skimore. “I don’t know that we’ll be the next world-class manufacturing facility, but having our business here in town is good for everyone.”
For more information on Halt Medical, Inc. or to learn about uterine fibroids, go to www.haltmedical.com.