NIH awards US$2 million grant to Embolx’ pressure-directed embolization device research

Sniper (Embolx)

The US National Institute of Health (NIH)’s National Cancer Institute has awarded a US$2 million grant to medical device company Embolx. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant will fund further research and development of the company’s future generation Sniper balloon occlusion microcatheter, a pressure-directed embolization therapy system. 

The Sniper balloon occlusion microcatheter alters blood flow‐dynamics by controlling pressure to increase therapeutic agent delivery into target areas for the treatment of cancerous tumors, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and uterine fibroids. This therapy allows interventional radiologist physicians to deliver drugs and embolic agents to only targeted treatment areas while protecting surrounding healthy tissues.

“We are excited for the opportunity to further our unique technology and advance minimally invasive cancer and BPH therapy,” said Michael Allen, president and CEO at Embolx. “This NIH grant, and recently completed US$5.5 million Series B financing, will accelerate our efforts to develop high performing medical devices that support better patient outcomes.”

The Phase II portion of the grant will build on completed work done in Phase I to develop an advanced generation of the Sniper microcatheter. With this new advanced device, interventional radiologists will have the capability of monitoring pressure in the vicinity of a tumor, tracking embolization progress in real-time and achieving a quantitative embolization endpoint, thereby improving reproducibility and efficacy of transarterial embolization procedures.

The co-investigator for this grant is Sanjay Gupta, chair ad interim, Department of Interventional Radiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, USA.


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