This Swiss nonprofit’s website says it is reviving and relaunching the FloWatch pulmonary artery banding (PAB) device, a therapeutic device that was implanted successfully in children in Europe and Asia between 2002 and 2012. FloWatch has medically proven abilities to protect the heart and lungs of newborn babies with severe cardiac defects while they wait to undergo a surgical operation to repair their hearts, according to EspeRare.
The FloWatch technology was developed at EPFL (Switzerland) and combines a micro-motor inspired by Swiss watchmakers. It has a telemetry flow control technology platform for remote adjustment and precise control of pulmonary artery blood flow and blood pressure in congenital heart diseases.
The technology comprises an active implant coupled to an external control unit; the latter allows the remote control and regulation of the blood pressure post-implantation without having to physically access the device, resulting in shorter stays in intensive care and bypassing the need for revision surgery. In addition, the wireless adjustability of the system allows surgeons and cardiologists to develop new treatments possibilities tailored to their patients’ needs.
In 2016, EspeRare obtained the rights to FloWatch 2016 and raised CHF 1 million to revive it. Last year, EspeRare set up a medical device team and confirmed the possibility that it could obtain the CE mark. Now EspeRare is making technical improvements to broaden the clinical indications for the device and enlarge the size of the target population. The foundation was a runner-up in the contest.