Olathe-based Metactive Medical recently secured a grant that will continue the development of its embolization device that fights cancer.
The National Institutes of Health awarded Metactive $224,000 that will fund nonclinical studies on the performance of the company’s Blockstent Microcatheter embolic devices for the occlusion — or blockage — of peripheral arteries and veins.
“We believe that Blockstent has the potential to enable more precise device placement, faster, more complete and more durable blood vessel occlusion and fewer complications,” said Howard Loree II, Metactive’s vice president of research and development. “(Metactive) looks forward to continuing our development program with the support of this new grant funding.”
Embolization is a treatment that blocks the flow of blood in specific segments of arteries and veins, enabling doctors to divert blood away from cancerous tumors and other abnormal tissues. More than 150,000 peripheral vascular embolization procedures are performed each year around the world using coils and vascular plugs, which Loree said can be difficult to use and often result in incomplete treatment.
Metactive has raised more than $7 million through two Series A funding rounds, both led by the Kansas Bioscience Authority. The KBA, an organization that serves largely as a venture capital fund to support the Kansas bioscience industry, recently laid off more than half its staff after the state reduced its funding, according to the Kansas City Star. The KBA laid off seven of its 13 full-time staff members and has halted making new investments.
It is now unclear how a possible closure of the KBA would affect companies that have received its investment dollars. Founded in 2004, the KBA invests in animal and human health, agribusiness and life sciences. It’s invested in such companies as Flow Forward, Metactive, Aratana and Innara Health.