Bluegrass announces patient enrollment in catheter trial

Patient enrollment has begun in Bluegrass Vascular Technologies' study of its Surfacer inside-out access catheter system. The study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Surfacer in up to 10 patients with upper extremity venous occlusion.

The Surfacer is designed to provide an option for patients with upper extremity venous occlusions that make veins impenetrable by a guide wire or standard access techniques. Using the system, physicians insert a guide wire through the femoral vein in the groin area and navigate up through the torso with an exit point in either the jugular or subclavian vein using fluoroscopy. Bluegrass estimates that more than 3 million patients require central venous access for medical treatment in the U.S. alone.

"The commencement of our first clinical study of the Surfacer is a significant achievement that moves us closer to our goal of offering physicians and their patients game-changing technologies that save veins and save lives," said James Clifton, president of Bluegrass Vascular Technologies. "We are thrilled to be under way with this important research and look forward to announcing the study findings in 2012."

Bluegrass is a spinoff of Therix Medical, which was founded in late 2007 to capitalize on the opportunity to commercialize product concepts from clinicians at the University of Kentucky and other regional medical centers.

- see the Bluegrass release