Freezing gallstone disease in its tracks

The first minimally invasive gallbladder ablation solution that gives patients the benefits of surgery, without the risk.

1 Million Patients Annually

Gallstone disease is one of the most common digestive problems in the U.S.

Every year, 1 million patients in the US develop symptomatic gallstone disease. The most common solution to treat gallstones is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, or Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.

Gallbladder removal is performed in the operating room. It requires multiple abdominal incisions and the use of general anesthesia.

Gallstone Disease

This problem amounts to a $500M burden to the healthcare system, every year.

Gallbladder surgery carries additional risk for the aging population.

General anesthesia carries too great a risk for some elderly patients. 200,000 patients over the age of 65 undergo gallbladder surgery each year. Unfortunately, one out of every four experience a complication due to the risk of general anesthesia.

No definitive treatment exists for patients too sick for surgery.

A drainage tube can be placed in the gallbladder to provide temporary relief of symptoms. However, these tubes don’t treat the source of the disease, and sometimes must remain in the patient’s body indefinitely.


The CholeSafe System: A safe, definitive treatment option for patients who cannot undergo surgical gallbladder removal.

How it Works

Using a minimally-invasive cryoablation solution, the CholeSafe System defunctionalizes the gallbladder instead of removing it.

Treats the source of the disease

Catheter-Based Procedure

Leverages existing workflows & techniques

Accesses the gallbladder through the skin

Requires only mild sedation & pain control

Can be performed using only ultrasound guidance


This can mean a world of difference in the perspective
of the patient.

A Safer Alternative to Gallbladder Surgery

Gallbladder Surgery

General anesthesia

Multiple incisions

May require up to a 2-day hospital stay

CholeSafe System

Mild sedation and pain control

No incisions

Shorter recovery time


Innovative Team of Industry, Clinical and Business Experts

Born out of the Texas Medical Center (TMC) Biodesign fellowship, Ictero is a team of passionate engineers, scientists, clinicians, and entrepreneurs dedicated to developing innovative medical technology that addresses today’s most pressing clinical needs.

Ictero methodically developed The CholeSafe System to be a commercially viable, definitive, and safe treatment for gallstone disease.

Matthew Nojoomi, MSE

CEO, Co-Founder

Matthew is a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur with more than six years of medical device innovation and design experience. He holds a Master’s degree in Bioengineering Innovation and Design from Johns Hopkins University, where he learned the methodologies and skills necessary to translate unmet clinical needs into commercial products. Matthew leverages his experience to help bridge the gap between the engineering, business, and clinical worlds.

David Waters, MD

COO, Co-Founder

David brings his experience with medical device development and non-dilutive funding to the Ictero team. At the McGovern Medical School of UTHealth-Houston, David experienced firsthand the challenge of managing high-risk patients with gallstone disease. He later led the implementation of a partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital to perform early stage development and commercialization of medical devices.

Kovi Bessoff, MD, PhD

Clinical Research Lead, Co-Founder

Kovi has cared for numerous patients with gallstone disease. He has a deep understanding of biliary anatomy and intimate knowledge of nearly every aspect of the care pathway including pre- and postoperative care and complicating factors. He has cared for many patients who have had significant complications associated with their cholecystectomies, and is passionate about preventing these complications in the future.

Raymond Kirk, MD, FACR


Ray completed his Interventional Radiology fellowship at the University of TX, MD Anderson Cancer Center and has practiced within the greater Houston community for over 20 years. Throughout his career, he has helped implement cutting-edge IR suites to expand patient access to minimally invasive treatments and shares a common understanding of the clinical need surrounding high risk patients with gallstone disease.

Supporting Partners

Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS logo

Contact Us