Development of a new endovascular medical device
The IQS spinoff Aortyx is developing new technology to treat aortic aneurysms, a life-threatening disease caused by the degeneration of the aortic wall. The aorta expands and loses mechanical strength, risking rupture or dissection, which is what makes aneurysms fatal. At present, this disease is not treated until it is very advanced, since both open and endovascular surgery have high rates of complications and mortality and often require subsequent operations again.
The aim of Aortyx is to revolutionize the treatment of this disease, changing the focus of the replacement of the tissue by a graft by focusing on a reinforcement of the existing tissue and the progressive stoppage of the aneurysm. To achieve this, the company aims to take advantage of the platform that it has already designed and patented, which is already in an advanced preclinical stage.
New Aortyx-GEMAT collaboration
Aortyx seeks to go a step further, collaborating again with the Materials Engineering Group (GEMAT) at the IQS School of Engineering, experts in biomaterials and the nanoencapsulation of drugs. Together, they are developing an advanced version of the patch in a new project with the main objective of the localized and controlled release of anti-aneurysm progression drugs, slightly modifying the original patch. The project is being funded by the Collaboration Challenges programme of the Ministry of Science and Innovation – State Research Agency, and has a duration of three years (2020-2023).
To achieve this main objective, the Aortyx-IQS team has established several technological challenges associated with the project, such as:
- Achieving new encapsulation and drug release systems based on polymeric nanoparticles.
- Developing new systems for attaching the nanoparticles to the original patch to achieve local release in the target tissue.
- Developing a manufacturing system for the patch-nanoparticles assembly that can be scalable, according to ISO/GMP standards.
- Validating the new medical device at the preclinical level.
The project is currently in its first year and has already achieved some of the objectives, such as the integration of a specific anti-aneurysm drug loaded within the nanoparticles that make up the new patch.
State R&D&i Programme – Collaboration Challenges
Within the state program aimed at Society’s Challenges, the objective of the call for Challenges-Collaboration is to support experimental development projects in cooperation between companies and research organizations in order to promote the development of new technologies, the application new ideas and techniques, and contribute to the creation of new products and services.