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Gore acquires dialysis med-tech company

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W. L. Gore & Associates recently acquired med-tech company InnAVasc Medical to complement its dialysis products. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – W. L. Gore & Associates, a global material science company headquartered in Newark, recently acquired a small medical technology company focused on easing the treatment of dialysis patients.

InnAVasc Medical, headquartered about two hours north of Phoenix, focuses on improving care for patients with end-stage renal disease who utilize graft circuits, or surgically created connections between an artery and vein, for dialysis treatment. The terms of the deal announced Aug. 12 between the two private companies were not disclosed.

Developed by Dr. Jeffrey Lawson and physician assistant Shawn Gage in the Duke University School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, the InnAVasc device is “specifically designed to allow for safe, easy, reproducible and durable access for dialysis treatment of patients with graft circuits.” The investigational device is designed to protect the graft from accidental punctures and reduce the damage associated with frequent needle sticks that occur over the lifespan of a dialysis graft. This can lead to circuit failure and shortened circuit life. 

“To be stuck with two needles three times a week for hemodialysis for 52 weeks, that’s 312 times a needle goes into a patient’s graft each year,” said Dr. Stephen Hohmann, vascular surgeon at Texas Vascular Associates, in a statement announcing the deal. “So having a graft that has the ability to decrease risk potential and long-term injury is definitely something that would be a game-changer.”

InnAVasc’s device is currently in clinical trials and is not available for commercial use. It will complement Gore’s product line, which includes medical devices that treat a range of cardiovascular and other health conditions, including a vascular graft used in kidney disease made from its proprietary expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE.

“The addition of InnAVasc’s investigational technology bolsters our continued ambition to improve patients’ lives by offering physicians innovative treatment solutions within the dialysis access space,” said Eric Zacharias, leader of Gore’s Medical Products Division, in a statement. “We are excited about InnAVasc’s unique technology and its potential to advance patient care for those with end-stage renal disease. This acquisition reinforces Gore’s commitment to innovation and desire to be strong partners in advancing treatments for these patients.” 

InnAVasc CEO Joseph Knight said his company sees “an array of synergies working with Gore.”

“The company is well recognized for its advanced material capabilities. Its long history of designing graft solutions for many treatment challenges already includes the Gore Propaten and Acuseal vascular grafts, used in dialysis access procedures today, and we are excited to collaborate on future innovations. Together we aspire to significantly advance patient outcomes and improve dialysis treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease,” he said in a statement. 

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