NIH grant sets Mercator research underway for local anti-inflammatory DVT therapy

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Mercator MedSystems has recently announced that the DEXTERITY trials research has begun under a technology transfer grant for approximately $300,000 funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Preclinical research performed using the grant resources aims to demonstrate mechanistic effects of local delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

“The formation of DVT appears to begin due to vein wall inflammation, and then as the body’s natural processes work to remove the obstruction, the vein becomes further inflamed,” stated Kirk Seward (president and chief science and technology officer of Mercator, California, USA) “Current treatments to remove the thrombus do not treat this underlying inflammation, which has been tied to the development of new clotting events or dysfunction of the vein and valves. Ultimately, in up to half of DVT patients treated with clot-removing drugs or devices, the damage from the thrombus and the residual inflammation can lead to chronic pain and other symptoms known as post-thrombotic syndrome.”

The NIH grant is being conducted in concert with a team at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, led by Farouc Jaffer (associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an attending interventional cardiologist at Massachusetts General, Massachusetts, USA), another co-principal investigator for the grant research.

Jaffer commented, “Our team at Massachusetts General Hospital has extensive experience with the development of preclinical models to demonstrate the mechanisms of DVT and restoration of blood flow. In this project, we are measuring molecular, physiologic, and biologic outcomes that will be key to understanding how anti-inflammatory drugs, when delivered locally and precisely to the area around the vein, may work to counteract vein wall injury arising from this disease. We hope that our joint research will help reduce the incidence of the post-thrombotic syndrome, a consequence of DVT that has overburdened the healthcare system for years.”

According to the company, the research covered by this grant is part of a broad effort to treat inflammation related to DVT. In addition to this mechanistic research, Mercator is conducting human clinical trials with the company’s Bullfrog micro-infusion device to deliver the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone specifically to areas around affected veins after thrombus removal. The Bullfrog has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and CE Mark approval. Enrollment in the DEXTERITY clinical trials is ongoing.


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