The ‘827 and ‘380 patents protect methods for using blood pump systems to dilate peripheral veins prior to vascular access site surgery.

This proprietary technology utilizes rapid blood flow with low pulsatility to provide highly favorable conditions for vein dilation and maturation.

 Flow Forward is developing medical devices that enable the use of these methods for the creation of both arteriovenous fistula (AVF) and arteriovenous graft (AVG) vascular access sites. The ‘174 patent protects these AFE System devices.

The success of vascular access surgery is highly dependent on the diameter of the veins and arteries used to create access sites.

By providing larger veins prior to construction of an access site, these methods could potentially increase patient eligibility for AVF and AVG surgery, increase AVF maturation rates, reduce AVF maturation time, and increase primary and secondary patency rates for AVFs and AVGs.

These patents are part of an intellectual property portfolio that contains six issued patents and numerous additional patent applications, to which Flow Forward has exclusive rights in the US and major international markets.

The portfolio covers four major patent families, including methods of treatment for veins and arteries, and compositions of matter covering related blood pump systems. “We are confident that Flow Forward’s extensive patent estate will provide our products with long-term market exclusivity,” said F. Nicholas Franano, MD, President and CEO of Flow Forward.

In related news, Flow Forward also announced the closing of $1 million additional Series A financing, led by a group of individual investors.

This financing will support the further development of Flow Forward’s AFE System, a small, minimally invasive blood pump system designed for temporary use to rapidly dilate peripheral veins through flow-mediated vascular dilation prior to AVF surgery. Flow Forward previously raised $6 million in Series A funding, bringing the total funding raised to $7 million to date.

“The new funding provides Flow Forward with the resources to continue the development and testing of the AFE System,” said Franano.

“Currently, there are more than 2.3 million people worldwide on hemodialysis who depend on a vascular access site to receive this life-saving treatment. Unfortunately, most of these patients will, at some point, experience failure of their vascular access site, which can often lead to a cycle of painful, expensive repair and replacement procedures. Outflow vein and inflow artery diameter are critical factors in achieving and maintaining a functional AVF.

“Based on our bench and preclinical study results, we believe the AFE System could provide larger AVF inflow artery and outflow vein diameters, higher AVF flow rates, greater AVF maturation rates, faster AVF maturation, and increases in AVF primary and secondary patency rates.”