Access Vascular Inc. is producing biomaterial-based catheters, which aim to lower long standing complication rates. Vascular access complications can delay treatment, add risk for patients, increase costs, and lead to dissatisfied patients. According to the company, its biomaterial catheter can reduce complication rates.
“The ultimate goal is not just some incremental improvement in outcomes but really transforming the efficacy of vascular access procedures unlike anything that is in the space,” said James Biggins, chief executive officer of Access Vascular. “It’s time to provide a better option to patients and clinicians to address these issues.”
Data from the company’s two studies suggest that its PICC and midline catheters have led to significant improvements in complication rates when compared to standard catheters. Currently, polyurethane catheters are used for vascular access and result in about a 30% complication rate. Infection, phlebitis, and thrombosis, the top three complications, can significantly impact patient care, at a minimum stopping the current treatment regimen and potentially leading to life-threatening infection or pulmonary embolism.
Access Vascular’s newly marketed HydroPICC and HydroMID catheters are hydrophilic, made from a hydrogel-based biomaterial that is more similar to tissues than the polyurethane catheter. By eliminating some of the body’s reaction to catheter insertion, the company’s duo of new catheters can reduce thrombosis by as much as 97%.
“We took a fundamentally different approach,” said Biggins. “Rather than mask these materials, we said, ‘why can’t we change the material and therefore change the reaction of the body to the presence of ultimately a foreign body?’ It’s the only alternative catheter material that’s in the market or in development that will essentially significantly reduce and in some cases eliminate these issues from occurring in the first place.”
Given the widely established use of catheters for vascular access, it was important that the biomaterial-based catheters perform in the same manner as the current polyurethane catheters, explained Biggins. “We wanted to make sure we did not disrupt whatsoever the clinical workflow that has been developed. We designed and developed the material to address the complications, and that boiled down to material. [Physicians] don’t have to change their practice to have better outcomes.”