Pathfinder Medical has been awarded a Smart grant for a £1.1 million (US$1.4 million) project by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. A press release details that the grant will support Pathfinder’s novel project to develop a minimally invasive arteriovenous fistula (AVF) at the wrist for patients with renal failure who require dialysis. The project is to be conducted in collaboration with James Moore from Imperial College London.
Pathfinder details that its ePath catheter technology is an advanced electronic guidance system that is designed to facilitate the minimally invasive connection of an artery and a vein at the level of the wrist. According to the company, this endovascular AVF (endoAVF) procedure has the potential to develop a high-flow venous return that has similar performance characteristics to surgically created AVFs but without requiring a surgical procedure.
The company anticipates that this technological advance may provide a safe, reliable, and cost-effective method for dialysis AVF creation in the estimated 3.4 million patients that require haemodialysis annually. In addition, it states that the technology may be utilised to access vessels in other anatomical locations and has potential applications in many other interventional procedures which currently require extensive imaging to co-locate blood vessels.
According to Pathfinder, their collaboration with Imperial College London ensures a multidisciplinary approach, combining cutting-edge development with technical expertise and academic excellence in bioengineering to achieve successful and swift commercialisation.
Sorin Popa, CEO of Pathfinder Medical, expressed his gratitude for the support from Innovate UK, stating: “We are honoured to receive the support of Innovate UK in the form of a Smart grant. Our technology has the potential to significantly improve the outcomes for dialysis patients and reduce costs for healthcare systems. Our CTO Dan Brasier, who is the project lead, and I are excited to collaborate with Professor Moore’s team at Imperial College London on this project to advance our stent-based next generation endoAVF solution.”