Healionics has applied its expertise in synthetic biomaterials to develop a novel vascular graft (artificial blood vessel) that, unlike existing grafts, remains open to blood flow long-term without need for costly interventions. Its first commercial application will be as a more reliable means of vascular access for dialysis patients, with a subsequent application to treat peripheral artery disease. We have great results in multiple controlled animal studies, a large patent portfolio, established production capacity, and are ready to begin human studies later this year in preparation for market launch. Near-Term Problem / Market Opportunity: Vascular Access for Dialysis Kidney failure patients need to have their blood filtered 3 times per week via dialysis. This removes waste from the blood, which would otherwise cause them to die. However, current methods for repeatedly accessing the bloodstream for dialysis are unreliable. This problem is a huge contributor to the $50 billion per year that the U.S. spends on dialysis patients (7% of Medicare’s entire budget!). A vascular graft is often implanted under the skin (connecting an artery to a vein) to create an access site with sufficient bloodflow for dialysis -- but existing grafts tend to occlude quickly, requiring repeated expensive interventions to keep them open. Solution: STARgraft Because our vascular graft remains open to blood flow much longer than existing grafts, it can potentially satisfy a severe unmet clinical need for ready-to-use, safe, long-term dialysis access, while substantially reducing costs, illness and death rate among dialysis patients. Product Pipeline We have additional products in development, including an implantable port which will allow needle-free dialysis. Eliminating the use of needles would further reduce cost and illness among dialysis patients, and allow them to perform dialysis in the convenience of their own home. In addition, our platform STAR biomaterial can improve the performance of a wide range of implantable devices via its remarkable ability to prevent both infection and scar tissue. We currently have two corporate-funded development contracts to explore STAR material’s use in multiple other device applications.
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