Western Medical Innovation Fellowship alumna founded startup, Front Line Medical, receives Health Canada approval

on February 22, 2021

Asha Parekh, PhD’15, who was a member of the first cohort of the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship, is seeing results after years of work as the company she founded receives Health Canada approval. Parekh, a biomedical engineer, co-founded the company Front Line Medical Technologies in 2017, with Dr. Adam Power, a vascular surgeon based at Victoria Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Front Line got an initial boost in spring of 2017 when the company was accepted to the first cohort of TechAlliance’s BURST program, an innovative incubation program for high-potential medical technology startups that provided the fledgling company with $70k worth of funding and mentoring. The company was also selected to participate in the second cohort of the Western Accelerator, another incubator that includes funding and various workshops.

Front Line Medical has received Health Canada approval for its COBRA-OS™ (Control of Bleeding, Resuscitation, Arterial Occlusion System) device after three years of research and development. The COBRA-OS is an innovative, easy-to-use aortic occlusion device with an extremely low-profile for temporary hemorrhage control and resuscitation.

“Even with all the advances in medicine today, trauma patients are primarily still dying from blood loss – this is our chance to change that,” said Power “While REBOA continues to emerge as a life-saving procedure, we saw the need for a simple, fast, low-profile device to maximize its benefit and ultimately save more lives.”

REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta) is used in emergencies when patients require hemodynamic support to maintain blood flow to the brain and heart, acting as a bridge to definitive care. COBRA-OS is the smallest on the market. Its significantly decreased size allows health care personnel easily deploy COBRA-OS, decreasing the time of the procedure and potentially improving patient outcomes.

This device can be used in multiple situations, including non-compressible torso hemorrhage in trauma, postpartum hemorrhage and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. While it has been primarily performed in-hospital, it is currently also being deployed in pre-hospital settings and military environments and being investigated for non-traumatic cardiac arrest.

“We have already seen great results, both from our pre-clinical and user validation studies,” said Parekh.

“When it comes to blood loss, timing is crucial and while most REBOA procedures take about 10 minutes, the COBRA-OS has taken just over a minute in our studies. Our ultimate goal is to lower the barriers to REBOA use around the world and after three years of hard work behind the scenes, Health Canada approval is our first step in making that happen.”

For more information about Front Line Medical and to stay updated on the availability of the COBRA-OS, please visit

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