WIRE)–Medical technology incubator Therix Medical has announced the launch of spin-out Bluegrass Vascular Technologies, a stand-alone company
dedicated to developing and commercializing life-saving devices and methods
that address shortcomings in vascular access procedures. Bluegrass Vascular
Technologies flagship product is the Surfacer™ Inside-Out Access Catheter
System, a proprietary instrumentation set that allows physicians to perform a
novel “inside-out” approach to gain venous access.
The Surfacer was developed to provide a new option for
patients with upper extremity venous occlusion (or blockage in the vein) that
makes the vein impenetrable by a guide wire or standard access techniques. This
condition develops most frequently in patients treated with central venous
catheters, access devices that are used to deliver dialysis or nutrition, to
implant pacemakers, and to administer intravenous chemotherapy for cancer.
Bluegrass Vascular anticipates completion of a first-in-man study using the
Surfacer by the end of the year.
“The idea for the Surfacer was born from seeing many
patients with obstructed central venous systems who needed life-saving vascular
access therapies, whether that be pacemakers or defibrillators or dialysis
access,” said Dr. John Gurley, practicing interventional cardiologist at the
University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, chief medical officer of
Bluegrass Vascular Technologies and inventor of the Surfacer. “Our unique
system offers physicians an innovative yet simple solution. If the veins are
obstructed and you cant put a needle in from the outside, you can now go
inside the body and direct the needle out.”
The potential market size and need for the Surfacer is
substantial. Bluegrass Vascular estimates that more than three million patients
require central venous access for medical treatment in the United States
alone. When an occlusion occurs in the patients vein, the vein becomes
compromised and unusable for further access, requiring the physician to seek
access through another vein. If all four central veins become compromised,
high-risk surgical procedures are currently the only option for reestablishing
The Surfacer was designed to offer a safer and simpler
alternative. Using the system, physicians insert a guide wire through the
femoral vein in the groin area and, using fluoroscopy, navigate it up through
the torso with an exit point in the jugular vein in the neck or the subclavian
vein under the collar bone. The procedure is performed while the patient is
under conscious sedation, as with other vascular access procedures.
Bluegrass Vascular Technologies estimates the market opportunity
for the Surfacer and related products to be in excess of $1 billion, with the
total market opportunity for general venous access approaching $2.5 billion.
“We believe the Surfacer has the potential to bring
tremendous clinical and economic benefit to the healthcare community, as it
offers a totally novel approach for venous access that is intended to address a
significant unmet clinical need among a very sick patient population,” said
James Clifton, chief executive officer of Therix Medical and president of
Bluegrass Vascular Technologies. “The launch of Bluegrass Vascular marks a very
exciting achievement for Therix Medical, which is singularly dedicated to
taking ideas for novel, high-value therapeutic concepts like the Surfacer from
the bedside to the commercial market.”
The launch of Bluegrass Vascular Technologies follows Therix
Medicals $2.5 million Series A financing, which closed in August 2011. Select
proceeds of the funding round have been dedicated to support the new spin-out
About Bluegrass Vascular Technologies
Founded in 2011 and based in Lexington,
Ky., Bluegrass Vascular
Technologies is a medical technology company dedicated to developing and
commercializing life-saving devices and methods that address shortcomings in vascular
access procedures. The companys initial product offering is the Surfacer™
Inside-Out Access Catheter System, a proprietary instrumentation set that
allows physicians to perform a novel “inside-out” approach to gaining venous
access. For more information, please visit www.bluegrassvascular.com.
About Therix Medical Development Ltd. Co.
Therix Medical is a medical technology incubator based in Lexington, Ky.
The company is focused on enabling the transfer of novel, high-value
therapeutic concepts from the bedside to the commercial market. Therix
Medicals portfolio of companies includes Bluegrass Vascular Technologies. For
more information, please visit www.therixmedical.com.