Mercator MedSystems Awarded National Cancer Institute Phase I STTR Grant to Develop Broncho-Adventitial Drug Delivery Catheter to Treat Bronchial Carcinoma
SAN LEANDRO, Calif., September 10, 2009 — Mercator MedSystems, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I research grant by the National Cancer Institute within the National Institutes of Health. In the proposed research, Mercator MedSystems, in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will develop catheters able to inject chemotherapeutic drugs into the adventitia of airways for the treatment of bronchial carcinoma. It is also expected that this research will lay the groundwork for therapies for asthma, tracheomalacia and other bronchial conditions.
Over 215,000 people will be diagnosed in 2008 with bronchial carcinoma in the U.S. according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute. Currently, asthma afflicts 22.9 million people in the U.S., and tracheobronchomalacia is believed to afflict 3 million people in the U.S. In addition to these chronic or deadly conditions, intervention into the bronchial passageways with bronchoscopic procedures can cause bronchial granulation tissue that obstructs airflow. These diseases of the bronchi each may potentially be treated with local, direct infusion of medications into the bronchial wall and adventitia (the tissue between smooth muscle layers and cartilage). Despite the magnitude of these problems, and the potential for a simple solution, there exists no device useful to deliver safely and reliably into the bronchial wall.
To address the problems with drug delivery to the bronchial wall, Mercator MedSystems will use its FDA-cleared platform product that delivers drugs to the vascular adventitia. This is an endovascular balloon catheter which extrudes a single needle through the vessel wall when the balloon is inflated, allowing direct therapeutic access to the adventitia. In its research, Mercator has discovered that vascular adventitial delivery leads to cylindrical deposition of drugs around the vessel, creating a natural drug-eluting reservoir. Translated to bronchial drug delivery, this technology may allow earlier treatment of cancer and long-term therapy for other debilitating lung diseases.
This Phase I award will also allow Mercator MedSystems to compete for more than $750,000 in Phase II funding. A Phase II project would fund more extensive research and development, including human clinical trials for bronchial carcinoma and additional research to expand the use of the product in other critical bronchial conditions.
About Mercator MedSystems, Inc.
Mercator MedSystems, Inc., based in San Leandro, Calif., is a privately held medical technology company focused on commercializing catheter-guided, microfluid infusion systems for site-specific delivery of therapeutic agents for applications in hypertension, cardiovascular disease, oncology and regenerative medicine.