Atlanta Catheter Therapies (ACT), focused on developing catheter technologies for the treatment of vascular disease and restenosis, has completed the prototyping phase for a medical device that integrates drug delivery with vascular catheterization.

The Occlusion Perfusion Catheter (OPC) developed by ACT allows endovascular specialists who have already cleared blocked blood vessels to then immediately circumferentially infuse the media with an agent or live cell to reduce or eliminate restenosis (re-blockage).

The OPC follows the same guide wire used by the debulking catheter to deliver anti-restenosis agents or drugs and other therapies directly and precisely to the treatment site.

Restenosis results in re-intervention, increased cost and added patient risk, with an estimated cost to the US healthcare system of $475bn annually. Anti-restenosis agents developed by pharmaceutical companies have been proven to have a positive effect on reducing restenosis.

In addition to the OPC, the company is attacking the problem of vascular disease by developing leading edge technology for atherectomy, thrombectomy and other catheter-based devices. ACT currently has seven devices in its product development pipeline, including the OPC.

Rex Teeslink, chief scientific officer of ACT, said: “These procedures actually create a controlled injury to the endothelium of the blood vessel wall. This injury causes a cascade of events resulting in proliferation and migration of smooth muscle cells into the blood vessel lumen, resulting in restenosis. Approximately thirty to forty percent (30-40%) of patients will develop restenosis after their endovascular debulking procedure, and that can happen in as little as six months.”

Paul Fitzpatrick, CEO of ACT, said: “Statistics from the American Heart Association show that more than 35 million Americans will be affected by vascular disease. Our goal at ACT is to more effectively clear the blockage and prevent restenosis, or re-blockage, of the blood vessel.

“Each device is being designed and developed with targeted improvements over any existing device already on the market. These design improvements will vastly advance the efficacy of the treatment of vascular disease and restenosis and address the enormous problem associated with these conditions worldwide.”