Grant to Develop Wearable Device for Hemodialysis Patients

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NEW YORK—Vizio Medical Devices LLC, Infoscitex Corporation (IST), and Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science jointly announced today the receipt of a $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance development of Vizio’s ambulatory wearable device for dialysis patients suffering from hypertension and excess fluid retention.

The two-year award, funded through the NIH’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, will support research and development activities at IST and Columbia. Edward F. Leonard, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Columbia Engineering School, and Anna Galea, PhD, of IST, are the principal investigators.

Under the grant, the team will continue the development of a microfluidics-based device that continuously removes excess fluid for several days without anticoagulants, thereby enabling a new modality of treatment for dialysis patients that reduces the number of weekly hemodialysis treatments from three to two. Vizio’s prototype version of this device is currently undergoing preclinical testing; under the grant this device will be miniaturized and readied for human clinical trials by the end of the Phase II award. Approximately 90 percent of patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) are treated by hemodialysis, at an annual cost of approximately $10 billion in the United States alone.

Hemodialysis, however, is far from a perfect solution, in that it requires thrice-weekly visits to a clinic and results in patients being hypertensive and fluid overloaded. Like home hemodialysis—but at lower cost and greater ease of use for patients—the Vizio device will reduce hypertension and enable the maintenance of normal volume, thereby improving patient quality of life.

About Vizio Medical Devices, LLC

Vizio, based in New York City, is the commercialization partner under the NIH STTR grant. Vizio licensed the intellectual property associated with the device from Columbia on an exclusive, worldwide basis in 2008. To date, Vizio has raised nearly $12 million from non-institutional sources. Its development pipeline is built around a common extracorporeal, microfluidic platform for removal of excess fluid from heart failure and dialysis patients, ambulatory hemodialysis, and the collection of circulating tumor cells from cancer patients for diagnostic, drug discovery and therapeutic purposes.

About Infoscitex Corporation

IST is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the U.S., providing technology services and products to customers in the environment, defense, life science, aerospace, energy, and security markets. IST Biomedical, a division of IST, develops innovative technologies to maintain health and optimize physiologic condition in humans and animals. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, IST has offices in Dayton, Ohio and Washington, D.C., with additional personnel at customer sites around the continental U.S. IST currently has 130 full-time employees and recorded $35 million in revenue in 2011.

About Columbia Engineering

Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, founded in 1864, offers programs in nine departments to both undergraduate and graduate students. With facilities specifically designed and equipped to meet the laboratory and research needs of faculty and students, Columbia Engineering is home to NSF-NIH funded centers in genomic science, molecular nanostructures, materials science, and energy, as well as one of the world’s leading programs in financial engineering. These interdisciplinary centers are leading the way in their respective fields while individual groups of engineers and scientists collaborate to solve some of modern society’s more difficult challenges. http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/

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