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CMS pays 33% of its budget for patients with end stage kidney disease, a group that, in terms of patient numbers, accounts for less than 1% of the Medicare population. For all this money spent, mortality rates remain high--the one year mortality rate for patients on hemodialysis stands at 24%, a survival rate that's worse than that of metastatic cancer. In an industry traditionally resistant to change, however, changes are coming, brought about by reimbursement changes and a delivery model that can't scale-up to meet a growing population, making room for new start-ups in the space.
In Vivo briefly summarizes the technologies of these recently founded companies: Efficas Inc., Gloucester Pharmaceuticals Inc., Helicos BioSciences Corp., Home Dialysis Plus, Imagine Pharmaceuticals Inc. and ProteinLogic Ltd.
Microvention Inc., a three-year-old start-up, is developing minimally invasive devices for treating cerebral vascular conditions. Its is first focusing on developing a better devices for treating aneurysms. It has a hybrid device, combining coils with a sponge-like hydrogel material that fills the aneurysm, cutting it off from the blood vessel. This allows the blood vessel to heal and recover its full strength. The product is in pre-clinical trials.
Gone are the days of random screening for new antibiotics. Now, thanks to molecular biology and genomics, start-up companies have a better sense of the mechanisms of infection. The firms think they've found novel ways to interfere with pathogens, including those resistant to current drugs.