Promising New Therapy for Drug-Resistant Hypertension Presented at Interventional Cardiology Meeting in Washington, D.C.
New procedure by Mercator MedSystems could help millions of Americans and significantly reduce the $73 billion spent annually managing hypertension
SAN LEANDRO, Calif., September 23, 2010 — Preclinical data of a novel therapy designed to treat drug-resistant hypertension (high blood pressure) was presented Tuesday, September 21st, at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) 2010 Conference in Washington, DC, by Christopher D. Owens, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor in Residence, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University of California, San Francisco. The therapy pioneered by Mercator MedSystems, Inc., combines the use of the company's Bullfrog® Micro-Infusion Catheter with a known drug to reduce the hyperactivity of nerves in the renal artery leading to and from the kidney. These nerves are implicated in the initiation and maintenance of high blood pressure. The early data shows that this therapy precisely targets these nerves, achieving the desired effect without negatively affecting surrounding tissue. Dr. Owens observed, "While these data are early, the site-specific delivery of drugs directly to the nerves in question offers great promise for a new approach in treating the nearly one-third of 73 million U.S. hypertensive patients who cannot control their blood pressure with medication alone."
The company believes the procedure will take less than an hour in an outpatient setting. In it, the slender Micro-Infusion Catheter is introduced into an artery through a small needle in the upper leg, and is guided into the main kidney artery (the renal artery). Once positioned, a balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated inside the artery, sliding a 130 micron (two hair widths thick) microneedle through the artery wall into the tissue known as the adventitia, which envelops the hyperactive nerves leading to the kidney. As the drug is infused through the microneedle, it surrounds the artery to create an effective cylindrical treatment zone and reduces the nerve signals which cause high blood pressure.
The company plans to initiate human investigational trials of this therapy in early 2011 and expects to begin commercialization of the therapy in 2-3 years.
Other studies featuring the Mercator Micro-Infusion Catheter platform that were also presented this week at the TCT include presentations by Marc Penn, MD, PhD, Director, the Skirball Laboratory of Cardiovascular Cellular Therapeutics as part of the symposium entitled Strategies for Cardiovascular Repair: Stem Cell Therapy and Beyond; and John Karanian, PhD, Director of the Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Interventional Therapeutics, Office of Science and Engineering Labs, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, as part of the Carotid and Endovascular Intervention Symposium and as part of the Drug-Eluting Stent Summit.
About the Cricket™ and Bullfrog® Micro-Infusion Catheters
The patented, proprietary and FDA-cleared Bullfrog® and Cricket™ catheters deliver drugs directly to the adventitia, an active tissue layer surrounding blood vessels, airways, urethra and other body lumens. The catheters can be guided to a target deep within the body, where a balloon is inflated with low pressure so that it touches but does not damage the vessel wall. Inflation of the balloon safely slides a microneedle through the vessel wall, where agents are delivered and diffuse to bathe the vessel cylindrically (circumferentially, longitudinally and transmurally). The effect creates a unique tissue-based drug-eluting reservoir, treating disease by leveraging the adventitia's biological properties. Delivering drugs through the blood vessel wall into the perivascular space and adventitia allows for direct, highly controllable and concentrated treatment, minimizing the toxicity of systemic administration, while avoiding the dilution of drug in the bloodstream. This reduces or eliminates drug side effects, increases therapeutic effectiveness, decreases the cost of medical treatments and improves patient quality-of-life outcomes.
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.