Flow Forward Medical Inc., an early-stage medical device company focused on improving outcomes for hemodialysis patients through the rapid creation of high-quality vascular access sites, today announced that it has launched operations as an independent company at the Venture Accelerator in the Kansas Bioscience Park in Olathe. Flow Forward was initially founded in 2011 as a subsidiary of Novita Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held life sciences incubator.
"Flow Forward is focused on developing the AFE System, which has the potential to substantially increase the number of hemodialysis patients using an arteriovenous fistula (AVF), the gold standard in vascular access sites," said F. Nicholas Franano, MD, chief executive officer of Flow Forward. "Currently, many patients are unable to get a functional AVF due to inadequate vein size and poor vein maturation, and we believe our system can help overcome these problems."
Hemodialysis is a lifesaving treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that requires the patient to have a vascular access site. The preferred type of site for hemodialysis patients is an AVF, due to improved patient survival, reduced complications and hospitalization rates, and large reductions in the cost of care when compared with other forms of access. However, nearly half of U.S. hemodialysis patients do not currently use an AVF for vascular access, primarily due to inadequate vein diameter and high rates of AVF failure.
Flow Forward's Arteriovenous Fistula Eligibility (AFE) System™ is a small, temporary, minimally-invasive blood pump designed to rapidly dilate peripheral veins through flow-mediated dilation prior to AVF surgery. Use of the AFE System could increase patient eligibility for AVF and improve success rates after AVF surgery. In a recent presentation at the American Society of Nephrology annual meeting, Flow Forward reported results of a small pilot nonclinical study showing vein dilation 20 times faster and a large reduction in vascular scar tissue formation during vein maturation, when compared with traditional AVF creation.
"This represents real innovation, with the potential to deliver benefits to patients that would not have previously been thought possible," said Tom Krol, managing director at the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) and a Flow Forward investor and director. "Successful development and commercialization of the AFE System could alleviate some of the enormous burden that vascular access failure places on patients, health care providers and payers. That makes the work at Flow Forward both an important effort and an attractive investment for KBA."
About Flow Forward Medical
Flow Forward is developing a novel approach to rapidly establish high-quality vascular access sites for hemodialysis. The AFE System is a small, temporary, external blood pump designed to stimulate flow-mediated dilation to make more patients eligible for an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) and increase success rates after surgery. Establishment of a reliable AVF reduces morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients, as well as the overall cost of care. For additional information, please visit www.flowforwardmedical.com.