Therix Medical Spins Out Bluegrass Vascular Technologies
November 15, 2011—Therix Medical (Lexington, KY), a medical technology incubator, announced the spin-out of Bluegrass Vascular Technologies, a stand-alone company dedicated to developing and commercializing devices and methods that address shortcomings in vascular access procedures.
Bluegrass Vascular’s Surfacer inside-out access catheter system allows physicians to perform a novel inside-out approach to gain venous access. The company anticipates completion of a first-in-man study using the Surfacer by the end of this year. Interventional cardiologist John Gurley, MD, of the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, is the inventor of the Surfacer and serves as Chief Medical Officer of Bluegrass Vascular Technologies.
According to company, Surfacer was developed to provide an option for patients with upper extremity venous occlusion that makes the vein impenetrable by a guidewire or standard access techniques. This condition develops most frequently in patients who have been treated with central venous catheters.
Dr. Gurley commented, “The idea for the Surfacer was born from seeing many patients with obstructed central venous systems who needed life-saving vascular access therapies, whether that be pacemakers or defibrillators or dialysis access. Our unique system offers physicians an innovative yet simple solution. If the veins are obstructed and you can’t put a needle in from the outside, you can now go inside the body and direct the needle out.”
The company noted that when an occlusion occurs in the patient’s vein, the vein becomes compromised and unusable for further access, requiring the physician to seek access through another vein. If all four central veins become compromised, high-risk surgical procedures are currently the only option for reestablishing access. The Surfacer was designed to offer a safer and simpler alternative to surgery. With the patient under conscious sedation, the physician inserts a guidewire through the femoral vein and navigates through the torso with an exit point in the jugular vein or the subclavian vein.