CVRx teams with dialysis giant DaVita on hypertension device

CVRx is teaming up with investor DaVita on its Barostim technology.--Courtesy of CVRx

Fresh off closing a $42 million funding round, CVRx is partnering up with investor DaVita, joining forces to speed up development of the company's nerve-stimulating hypertension treatment.

CVRx is at work on Barostim neo, a CE-marked device designed to lower blood pressure and fight heart failure by sending signals through neural pathways in the brain. Now, with the help of global kidney dialysis giant DaVita and its clinical research subsidiary, CVRx is optimistic it can get the technology through pivotal trials and into the hands of U.S. physicians.

CVRx won DaVita over with Barostim's potential to improve outcomes for underserved populations, and pitching in on clinical development was the next logical step, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Nissenson said.

"Our focus is to collaborate on innovative approaches to addressing the complex clinical problems of patients with kidney disease to improve the quality of their lives," Nissenson said in a statement. "We believe the Barostim platform meets those criteria and therefore has the potential to provide both meaningful clinical benefits to patients and economic benefits to the health care system."

CVRx is in the midst of two pivotal studies designed to secure FDA approval for Barostim neo, studying the device's effect on hypertension in 310 patients and tracking its heart failure benefits on 60. The implant targets baroreceptors found on the carotid artery, using the body's natural processes to relax arterial contractions, slow down heart activity and reduce renal fluid levels.

In addition to DaVita, New Enterprise Associates and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) Development Corporation pitched in for CVRx's latest round, which brings the company's total venture haul to about $250 million since its 2001 foundation.

- read the announcement

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