CVRx Inc. in Plymouth, Minn. said Monday that hypertension patients using its Rheos stimulation device reported a sharp drop in blood pressure after four years.
In a study presented to the European Society of Hypertension meeting, the company said patients’ average systolic blood pressure dropped 27 percent to 140 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) from 193 mmHg with the greatest loss experienced in the fourth year. CVRx also said patients, whose bodies resist anti-hypertension drugs, used fewer medications.
“These long-term results demonstrate the sustained effect that the Rheos System has on reducing blood pressure,” Dr. Bram Kroon, the study’s author, said in a statement. “The Rheos System offers us a new treatment option for patients who have a very difficult to treat disease. We are also learning that the Rheos System has the potential to improve the function and structure of heart.”
Minnesota is home to a group of startups seeking to use neurostimulation in novel ways. Apnex Medical Inc. in St. Paul is developing a device to treat obstructive sleep apnea. EnteroMedics Inc. in Roseville is seeking to become the first company in the United States to sell a device that treats obesity with electricity.
CVRx’s Rheos technology, currently approved in Europe and undergoing Phase 3 trials in America, stimulates the baroceptors, the body’s natural blood pressure sensors located in the carotid artery. The brain instructs the arteries to relax, which eases the flow of blood throughout the body, and the heart to slow down, allowing more time for the heart to fill with blood.