NeuroSigma buys patents that advance TFN stents

NSVascular, a subsidiary of NeuroSigma, has picked up a portfolio of patents that will help it develop its technology for more easily treating intracranial aneurysms. The technology utilizes an alloy that allows stents to be "deformed," inserted through a catheter, then reformed when exposed to body heat.

The Los Angeles-based company last year created a subsidiary to commercialize technology using Thin-Film Nitinol (TFN) to cover stents. NSVascular licensed the process exclusively from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Now it has acquired patents and trade secrets from TiNi Alloy, including one covering the production of 3-D TFN constructs, it says in its release.

Not only did it get the patents, but TiNi founder David Johnson has joined NeuroSigma to help develop the program.

NeuroSigma intends to focus on endovascular applications, and its most advanced product is a flow-diverting stent for treating intracranial aneurysms. It intends to create stents coated with TFN, as nitinol is a superelastic nickel and titanium alloy, whose unique properties allow it to be deformed but return to its full shape when exposed to body heat.

The idea is to have a TFN stent that will be inserted using a catheter, a process that can be less invasive and faster than current procedures, which include placing small coils inside the aneurysm sac. The TFN device would divert blood away from the aneurysm sac. NeuroSigma says preclinical data has shown the process can result in quicker occlusion and resorption of the aneurysm, making it less likely of a recurrence.

The company says the new patents and trade secrets will help it advance its program more expeditiously.

Advances in stent technology have created a very competitive market in a number of treatment areas. Boston Scientific ($BSX) and Abbott ($ABT) just this week said they were debuting stents or stent-related treatment offerings overseas. The BSX product is a self-expanding bare metal stent system to treat peripheral vascular lesions in the superficial femoral artery and proximal popliteal artery above the knee. Abbott is touting a new CE mark that enables use of dual anti-platelet therapy for at least three months after patients receive their Xience Prime and Xience V Everolimus eluting coronary stents for coronary artery disease.

- read the release