The Medical Technology Blog

Welcome back to the Medical Technology Blog. Today’s article comes from the Cardiovascular Device Business Newsletter from Espicom Business Intelligence.

VentriPoint Diagnostics has met with the FDA to review its plans for the clinical trial and regulatory submission for the first application of the VMS heart analysis system for the congenital heart disease known as Tetralogy of Fallot. The FDA informed the company it had answered all its questions and addressed all of the earlier observations pertaining to the trial, paving the way for the start of the trial in the US.

The Tetralogy of Fallot study has begun in the US and is designed to show substantial equivalency between the gold-standard, MRI method and VentriPoint’s 2D-ultrasound, VMS technique. Based on advice from the FDA, the study has been designed to collect images at multiple sites and to analyse them in core labs. Nationwide Hospital in Columbus, OH is the lead centre for the study and the University of Nebraska has been named as a second site. A number of other clinical sites are expected to join the study. Nationwide Hospital has also been selected as the core lab for the analysis of MRI studies and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada has been selected to carry out all the analyses of the studies.

To date, 20 patients have been enrolled in the study and a total of 75 evaluable cases are required for study completion. VentriPoint anticipates enrolment will accelerate as the other centres become operational. The data collection should be completed this spring and a response from the FDA is anticipated this summer, depending on the rate or recruitment by existing and new centres.

VentriPoint estimates the market for product for Tetralogy of Fallot to be US$200 million and is already marketing the device in Europe and Canada, where it is approved for clinical use. The company has a target of placing 50 VMS devices in 2012 and anticipates that sales will increase rapidly during 2012 should FDA approval for Tetralogy of Fallow is achieved and approval for pulmonary hypertension is received in Europe and Canada.

The pulmonary arterial hypertension application is expected to over lap with the US congenital heart disease programme. A clinical evaluation of the pulmonary arterial hypertension application has already begun at the University of Chicago. This should be complete in a few weeks and, if successful, VentriPonit will use the data to file for CE mark and Canadian approval marketing applications. A number of medical centres have agreed to be part of this pivotal trial. Based on experience with the Tetralogy of Fallot trial, the company has already started the IRB and budget-approval processes with these major cardiovascular centres, as this is the most time-consuming part of the process. The sites will be selected shortly and will become operational as soon as possible.

Much of 2011 has been spent upgrading both hardware and software based on the feedback from the users and developing new applications such as pulmonary hypertension. The latest software, version 1.1, is completed and undergoing final testing. The major hardware feature expansion is the ability to interface with the newer digital ultrasound machines, which the company says is likely to  take over the market in the next five years. A key software enhancement is the ability to export VMS studies to the hospital PACS, enabling third party DICOM viewers to review the VMS results. Existing sites will be updated remotely with the new version as soon as it has been released for general use.

Looking ahead, VentriPoint is actively seeking partnerships with large manufacturers of ultrasound equipment for combination products and distribution. The company says there is considerable interest in developing a stand-alone system for pulmonary hypertension, as this would be a completely new application for ultrasound.

Article source: Lawrence Miller, editor Cardiovascular Device Business, and medical newsletters team leader at Espicom Business Intelligence



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