SAN LEANDRO, Calif., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Preclinical data of a novel therapy designed to treat drug-resistant hypertension (high blood pressure) was presented Tuesday, September 21st, at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) 2010 Conference in Washington, DC, by Christopher D. Owens, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor in Residence, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University of California, San Francisco. The therapy pioneered by Mercator MedSystems, Inc., combines the use of the company's Bullfrog® Micro-Infusion Catheter with a known drug to reduce the hyperactivity of nerves in the renal artery leading to and from the kidney. These nerves are implicated in the initiation and maintenance of high blood pressure. The early data shows that this therapy precisely targets these nerves, achieving the desired effect without negatively affecting surrounding tissue. Dr. Owens observed, "While these data are early, the site-specific delivery of drugs directly to the nerves in question offers great promise for a new approach in treating the nearly one-third of 73 million U.S. hypertensive patients who cannot control their blood pressure with medication alone."
The company believes the procedure will take less than an hour in an outpatient setting. In it, the slender Micro-Infusion Catheter is introduced into an artery through a small needle in the upper leg, and is guided into the main kidney artery (the renal artery). Once positioned, a balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated inside the artery, sliding a 130 micron (two hair widths thick) microneedle through the artery wall into the tissue known as the adventitia, which envelops the hyperactive nerves leading to the kidney. As the drug is infused through the microneedle, it surrounds the artery to create an effective cylindrical treatment zone and reduces the nerve signals which cause high blood pressure.
The company plans to initiate human investigational trials of th