SEATTLE—Healionics Corporation received a $909,165 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for preclinical studies to advance STARcuff, a STAR Biomaterial-based anti-infective exit site sleeve for hemodialysis catheters. Andrew Marshall, Healionics' chief technology officer, is the principal investigator for this research project.
Titled, "Anti-Infective Dermal Integration Sleeves for Needle-Free Dialysis Access Devices," the award provides funding to refine the STARcuff anti-infection technology and broaden its range of device applicability.
Hemodialysis patients are at high risk for life-threatening bloodstream infections. Treatment of catheter-associated infections at $35,000 to $60,000 per episode exceeds the yearly cost of routine dialysis sessions. Nearly half of these infections proceed extraluminally via the exit site.
"Catheters loaded with active antimicrobial agents or antiseptics are a controversial option for chronic dialysis patients due to the serious threat of microbial resistance," Marshall said. "STARcuff is an attractive approach because it can potentially provide long-term protection against infection without any active agents."
More information about SBIR grants from the National Institutes of Health can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir.htm .