FlowMedica: Making Renal Failure Real
For a selelct group of patients undergoing interventional procedures or cardiac surgery, the risk of acute renal failure, caused by the body's inability to flush out high doses of contrast agents, represents a major, and potentially life-threatening complication. FlowMedica hopes to make prevention and treatment of acute renal failure a standard of care with an innovative technology that links drug and device therapies.
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Clinicians are increasingly recognizing that the combination of renal dysfunction and heart failure appears to hasten the decline of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), and even to increase their death rates. This is a significant observation because in one million annual hospital admissions for acute decompensated heart failure each year, 80% of patients have some degree of renal insufficiency. Now, several new device companies targeting cardio-renal syndrome hope to attack heart failure from a new vantage point: the kidney.
Renowned cardiologist Martin Leon, MD, found himself growing frustrated with the tendency of start-ups to bring physicians into the develeopment program too late, when major but critical changes would be impractical if not outright impossible. So Leon and partner Yuval Binur, of Medica Venture Partners, set out to define a new model for device start-up creation, Accelerated Technologies Inc. The company has launched five new cardiovascular device companies and is about to launch a sixth.
Convergence is the great hope of pharmaceutical and device companies hoping to enter into new high growth markets with differentiated products. Drug-eluting stents turned a stagnant product into a thriving $6 billion market, and now companies are trying to find the next large opportunity that combines devices and drugs. They're looking at many kinds of implantable devices that incorporate biomaterials and drugs to achieve site specific drug delivery, in cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, ophthalmology, orthopedics, wound healing, and anti-infection.