Bluegrass Vascular announces strategic relationship with Merit Medical


Bluegrass Vascular has announced that it is entering into a strategic relationship with Merit Medical. The agreement will streamline European distribution of the recently CE mark approved Surfacer inside-out access catheter system and will provide funding to support the company’s efforts to secure FDA clearance for product sales in the USA.

“The Surfacer System is an innovative inside-out approach to restore access to the right internal jugular vein and to preserve treatment options in haemodialysis patients with occluded veins,” stated Fred Lampropoulos, chairman and CEO of Merit. “This unique approach addresses an unmet need in haemodialysis care and aligns with Merit’s interventional portfolio, which includes the Hero graft, a complementary device designed to reduce catheter-associated complications and costs. We are very excited to bring this novel technology to market.”

Central venous obstruction occurs in roughly 40% of instances where haemodialysis is being received by a central venous catheter. While permanent arteriovenous fistulas are the preferred form of vascular access for haemodialysis patients, central venous catheters continue to serve as an important bridge to securing long-term access for life-saving haemodialysis treatment. The current approach for most patients with central venous occlusions is to use an alternative vein, which reduces the ability to place and mature a functioning fistula, resulting in increased catheter days and costs.

The Surfacer inside-out access catheter system provides reliable, efficient and repeatable central venous access to the right internal jugular vein, the optimal location for placing a central venous catheter. By securing safe and repeatable central venous access to this vein, the Surfacer System allows physicians to “avoid going left”, thereby protecting arteriovenous fistulas placement for better patient outcomes and improved health economics for both hospitals and haemodialysis providers.