Pryor Medical gears up for rollout of military-inspired catheter

Pryor's ER-REBOA catheter reduces trauma-induced bleeding and protects organs from damage.--Courtesy of Pryor Medical

As the med tech industry casts its eye toward innovative technology to address military injuries, a Texas company is preparing to roll out a device that could help cut down on bleeding and prevent survivable death.

San Antonio, TX-based Pryor Medical is eyeing FDA approval for its ER-REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta) catheter, a less invasive device that temporarily stops trauma-induced bleeding and protects vital organs, The San Antonio Business Journal reports. The technology, which was invented and patented by a team from the U.S. military and the University of Michigan, could represent an advantage over the current standard of care. Traditional procedures call for an "over the wire" balloon catheter and fluoroscopy for positioning, but emergency rooms often do not have the technology on hand or personnel trained in the procedure.

Pryor's ER-REBOA catheter is guidewire-free and fluoroscopy-free, and includes a flexible tip that helps physicians place the device. David Spencer, CEO and co-founder of the company, said the company drew upon lessons from the military to develop its product.

"The Army has said enough. They want some solutions for truncal hemorrhage. It's their number one cause of potentially survivable death." Spencer told the newspaper. "This is the same balloon technology used for heart stents and angioplasty. Why not use it to stop bleeding? That's what our device does."

Pryor Medical CEO David Spencer

If all goes to plan, Pryor will secure FDA approval for the device by the end of this year and market ER-REBOA for military and civilian use, the SABJ reports. The company will also sign on Salem, NH-based Vention Medical to manufacture the product.

While Pryor is focused on launching its device in the U.S., the company is planning to expand its market footprint, Spencer told the newspaper. "Pryor is interested in anything that is related to military medical and has a large commercial market."

Pryor's efforts come as government organizations and med tech outfits fund devices for military and civilian populations. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense's DARPA agency launched a $70 million project to develop a brain monitoring implant to help soldiers better manage depression, stress and other related conditions. Companies such as Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) and AnthroTronix are also developing devices geared toward the battlefield, rolling out products that monitors and addresses traumatic injuries.

In August 2014, Abbott said it would team up with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a portable test that can be used to identify concussions. In October, the FDA cleared AnthroTronix's DANA (Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment) app to measure reaction time in patients, an indication of cognitive or physiological changes such as concussion, dementia, post-traumatic stress or depression.

- read the San Antonio Business Journal story