Mercator MedSystems Announces Receipt of NIH Grant for Research and Development of Local Anti-inflammatory Deep Vein Thrombosis Therapy
January 10, 2022, Emeryville, Calif. – Mercator MedSystems, Inc. (“Mercator” or the “company”), announced today that research has begun under a small business technology transfer (STTR) grant for approximately $300,000 funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Preclinical research performed using the grant resources is intended to demonstrate mechanistic effects of local delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT occurs when large veins deep in the leg and pelvic region become inflamed due to injury, stagnation of blood flow, and factors in the blood that increase the likelihood for coagulation to occur. Kirk Seward, PhD, President and Chief Science and Technology Officer of Mercator and one of the grant’s co-principal investigators, noted, “The formation of DVT appears to begin due to vein wall inflammation, and then as the body’s natural processes work to remove the obstruction, the vein becomes further inflamed. Current treatments to remove the thrombus do not treat this underlying inflammation, which has been tied to the development of new clotting events or dysfunction of the vein and its valves. Ultimately, in up to half of DVT patients treated with clot-removing drugs or devices, the damage from the thrombus and the residual inflammation can lead to chronic pain and other symptoms known as post-thrombotic syndrome.”
The work on the NIH grant is being conducted in concert with a team at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School led by Farouc Jaffer, MD, PhD, the co-principal investigator for the grant research. Dr. Jaffer provided further insight into the project: “Our team at MGH has extensive experience with the development of preclinical models to demonstrate the mechanisms of DVT and restoration of blood flow. In this project, we are measuring molecular, physiologic, and biologic outcomes that will be key to understanding how anti-inflammatory drugs, when delivered locally and precisely to the area around the vein, may work to counteract vein wall injury arising from this disease. We hope that our joint research will help reduce the incidence of the post-thrombotic syndrome, a consequence of DVT that has overburdened the healthcare system for years.”
The research covered by this grant is part of a broad effort by Mercator to treat inflammation related to DVT. In addition to this mechanistic research, Mercator is conducting human clinical trials with the company’s Bullfrog Micro-Infusion Device to deliver the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone specifically to areas around affected veins after thrombus removal. Enrollment in the DEXTERITY clinical trials is ongoing. Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH under award number R41HL160434.
About the Bullfrog® Micro-Infusion Device The Bullfrog Micro-Infusion Device is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CE marked. The device includes a balloon that hydraulically deploys a micro-needle through the vessel wall into perivascular tissues, where the needle can then efficiently infuse drugs or biologics around an artery or vein. Drug delivery through the Bullfrog is tracked with X-ray contrast agents, allowing precision therapy to local tissues with visual feedback to the physician using the device.
About Mercator MedSystems, Inc. Mercator MedSystems, Inc. is a medical technology company focused on the clinical and commercial development of proprietary, FDA-cleared and CE marked catheter-based micro-infusion technologies, including the Bullfrog® Micro-Infusion Device for the local delivery of therapeutics in blood vessels and the Blowfish® Transbronchial Micro-Infusion Catheter for delivery in airways. Mercator is developing clinical applications in peripheral vascular disease, cancer, hypertension, and cardiac regeneration. For further information, please visit www.mercatormed.com.
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