Boston Sci launches minimally invasive pancreatitis tech it gained last year in startup buy

Axios Stent and Electrocautery Enhanced Delivery System--Courtesy of Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific ($BSX) launched the Axios Stent and Electrocautery Enhanced Delivery System to minimally invasively treat a couple of serious complications from pancreatitis. The company acquired the technology last April when it bought Mountain View, CA-based startup Xlumena for $75 million plus undisclosed sales milestones.

The Axios System is FDA-cleared for the endoscopic management of pancreatic pseudocysts and certain types of walled-off pancreatic necrosis. These types of pancreatic fluid collections occur in roughly 5% to 16% of acute pancreatitis patients as well as 20% to 40% of chronic pancreatitis patients, the company estimates. Some of these are self-resolving, but others can cause severe symptoms and require treatment.

"In our practice, the Axios System has improved the endoscopic treatment of PFCs and walled off necrosis," said Dr. Todd Baron, professor of Medicine and director of Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy, University of North Carolina Hospital in Chapel Hill in a statement.

He continued, "The delivery system has improved our procedural efficiency by reducing procedure time and patient exposure to X-ray imaging. In addition, we believe that the large diameter stent design is helping to reduce the cost of care by decreasing hospital length of stay and the number of interventions needed to manage this complex disease."

The Axios System combines a cautery-enabled access catheter with the Axios stent--Courtesy of Boston Scientific

The system uses endoscopic ultrasound to guide the electrocautery-enhanced catheter to access the pancreatic fluid collections (PFC). Then it uses the stent to create a temporary channel to facilitate drainage from it. Large flanges on each end of the lumen-apposing stent are intended to reduce the risk of leakage and migration. The Axios stent, which is MRI compatible and self-expanding, is the only removable metal stent in the U.S. specifically for PFC drainage, according to the company.

Surgery to treat symptomatic PFCs is associated with higher rates of morbidity of 7% to 37% and mortality of 6%, according to the company. This endoscopic option is expected to result in shorter hospital stays, better outcomes for patients and lower costs.

"The Axios Stent and Electrocautery Enhanced Delivery System provide a simpler and faster treatment option for patients," said Dr. Kenneth Binmoeller, of the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, CA, and the inventor of the Axios System. "We can now provide an endoscopic solution that provides immediate relief for these patients using one device in a single setting."

- here is the press release