Devices & Diagnostics

r4 Vascular releases new catheter for dialysis patients

Device maker r4 Vascular will this week begin selling a new catheter that features a novel coating designed to prevent clotting. The Duraspan catheter is intended for use by patients undergoing hemodialysis, a medical procedure in which a machine removes and cleans a patient’s blood then returns it to the body. A catheter is a […]

Device maker r4 Vascular will this week begin selling a new catheter that features a novel coating designed to prevent clotting.

The Duraspan catheter is intended for use by patients undergoing hemodialysis, a medical procedure in which a machine removes and cleans a patient’s blood then returns it to the body. A catheter is a thin, flexible tube inserted into a patient’s body to add or remove fluids, or keep a passageway open.

Problems with catheters are a major cause of morbidity and mortality for hemodialysis patients because catheters can become infected or clogged with fats, proteins and other particles. The Duraspan is coated with a chemical that aids in reducing thrombosis, or obstruction of blood vessels.

The company says it will launch sales of the Duraspan at a radiology conference on March 13 in Tampa, Fla.

Founded in 2006, privately held r4 specializes in vascular-access technology, meaning catheters and other products that physicians insert into blood vessels. It launched five devices during the last half of 2009, including a catheter in December that’s able to administer chemotherapy and inject contrast dyes.

The company focuses primarily on the kidney disease and oncology markets. It raised a $4.5 million Series B round in 2008.