Avinger has recently released its commercial product, the Wildcat Guidewire Support Catheter, cleared by the FDA in February 2009 to support treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD).

The Wildcat is a special kind of catheter that enters an artery through a small incision in the groin and functions similarly to a corkscrew within the vessel, enabling a guidewire to pass through plaque deposits. Subsequently, a therapeutic device such as an angioplasty balloon, stent, or atherectomy catheter can be used to restore circulation to the arteries of the leg.

Avinger has been developing a pipeline focused on delivering devices that merge a therapy and intravascular visualization into a single catheter a platform which currently does not exist for minimally invasive treatment of vascular disease.

John Simpson, founder of Avinger and Sawtooth Labs, an interventional cardiologist and renowned medical device entrepreneur, said: “I find this area exciting because I know our combination of different technologies will help improve PAD patient outcomes, and I am excited when we help prevent scheduled amputations.

“In addition to improving peripheral blood flow, I am also convinced we will derive information from the tissue we visualize and characterize via histological tissue analysis on the excised plaque that will help create patient-specific therapies. I strongly believe this gives Avinger a unique opportunity to analyze the underlying pathology of atherogenesis, promote drug discovery, and correlate these findings with patient outcomes over time.”