03/14/2023   Morgantown, W.Va. – Morgantown surgical device company Endolumik, Inc., closed a $1.5 million investment to commercialize its patented near-infrared (NIR) surgical device – Gastric Calibration Tube, thanks in part to a new investment from the Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN) of Beckley.

Endolumik uses near-infrared light to allow surgeons to better visualize minimally-invasive surgical tools and measure anatomical features during procedures.

The funds will support the commercial launch of the company’s first device using the technology. The investment close comes on the heels of the recent Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance of the device. In fact, the FDA announced that the Endolumik Gastric Calibration Tube is the first device ever to be authorized under its Safer Technology Program.

“The funding and Safer Technology authorization have set us up for success,” said Mara McFadden, co-founder and CEO of the company. “We are eager to get this novel tool into the hands of surgeons.”

McFadden said the investment will allow Endolumik to hire three people and build its inventory.

The equity round was led by the Country Roads Angel Network, West Virginia’s only accredited angel network fund that invests in companies that are driving innovation in the Mountain State.

“Our investors think so much of Endolumik and its leadership that we made a second investment in this innovative medical device company,” said CRAN Chairman Kevin Combs. “We are confident that Endolumik, with its innovative visualization techniques, will disrupt the laparoscopic surgical device landscape and create a new standard of excellence.”

Combs said CRAN invested $240,000 in Endolumik in late 2021 in the round one investment opportunity and another $145,000 now in round two, for a total CRAN investment of $360,000.

CRAN’s investment in Endolumik comes with a seat on the Endolumik board.

As a CRAN investor in Endolumik, Chris Vaught, a Beckley serial entrepreneur and successful businessman, will also be joining the Endolumik board. Vaught will bring his considerable health care experience as an entrepreneur and hospital CEO to the Endolumik leadership team.

“The potential for Endolumik – with this medical device and others in progress – is unlimited,” said Vaught in a press release. “Working with CEO Mara McFadden and inventor Dr. Nova Szoka since the initial funding round has been rewarding, and the future of this company is very bright.”

In a first, CRAN was joined in the round by West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT), which was able to match privately raised funds with SSBCI investment dollars.

“WVJIT is proud to be a partner investor in a deal led by Country Roads Angel Network that includes a host of other private investors,” said Andy Zulauf, executive director at West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust. “The West Virginia Capital Access Program afforded us the funds necessary to match investments from private funders to leverage a larger round of funding support for Endolumik. We hope this deal serves as a model for the state to work together to fund our best and brightest.”

Also invested are Calypso Investment Partners, Cutwater Capital, Varia Ventures and private offices.

Endolumik’s first product is a NIR-guided Gastric Calibration Tube. These calibration tubes are commonly used in gastric and bariatric surgeries today. However, the majority of these tubes are difficult to see inside the stomach, which can lead to costly medical errors. The Endolumik Gastric Calibration Tube with patented fluorescence-guidance is designed to improve visualization for the surgical team and enable safer, more standardized surgeries.

Nova Szoka, M.D., the inventor of the technology and co-founder of Endolumik, said in the release, “Our mission is to provide surgeons with additional visual cues to succeed in the operating room. We believe our technology will allow surgeons to deliver more consistent results and this will translate to improved patient outcomes.”

Endolumik, an innovator in minimally-invasive surgical devices, today announced its fluorescence guided Gastric Calibration Tube has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance. The technology uses near infrared (NIR) light to allow surgeons to more clearly visualize surgical tools inside the stomach. The device was designated by the FDA as part of their Safer Technology Program, the first device ever approved through that program.

“Our mission is to provide surgeons with additional visual cues to succeed in the operating room.”
– Dr. Nova Szoka

Company’s Patent-Pending Device Enhances the Way Surgeons Perform Bariatric Surgery

September 16, 2021 – Los Angeles, Calif. — The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has announced Endolumik, Inc. winner of the 2021 Shark Tank competition at its annual meeting in Las Vegas.

The Morgantown, West Virginia-based Endolumik (https://www.endolumik.com) is a surgical device company that has developed a fluorescence-guided esophagogastric calibration system used for surgery. The system allows surgeons to precisely visualize the gastric calibration tube during a variety of minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic procedures.

SAGES Shark Tank competition is designed to support clinicians focused on commercializing their innovations through investment capital, including by sale to a third party and not primary scientific research. This year, in partnership with Varia Ventures, SAGES launched a three pronged initiative to educate its members on entrepreneurism, engage and showcase inventors through the reimagined and funded SAGES Shark Tank, and finance promising startups through the newly formed SAGES Investment Network Collaborative (SINC). SAGES members can participate in SINC through the website https://sinc.variaventures.com.

Mara McFadden, Endolumik CEO, said, “We are thrilled to have the SAGES and Varia teams recognize the potential of this innovation. We will do our best to get it in the hands of SAGES surgeons as soon as possible.” Endolumik founder and CMO Dr. Nova Szoka added, “We strongly believe that fluorescence guided surgery should be the new standard of care in bariatric procedures due to the increased safety and consistency it can offer.”

Along with Endolumik, this year’s finalists Lazurite and theraGI LLC, presented both their idea and supporting business model to the Shark Tank judges that included Drs. Christopher Schlachta and Steven Schwaitzberg from SAGES, and Scott Friedman and Andrea Vossler from Varia Ventures. Endolumik’s prize money was $30,000. For more information about SAGES Shark Tank competition, please contact nicole@sages.org.

Dr. Nova Szoka & Mara McFadden
Endolumik Founders: Dr. Nova Szoka & Mara McFadden


The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is a leading surgical society representing a global community of more than 7,000 surgeons bringing minimal access surgery and emerging techniques to patients worldwide. SAGES mission is to innovate, educate and collaborate to improve patient care with a vision of reimagining surgical care for a healthier world. For more information, go to https://www.sages.org.