Dialysis product manufacturer NxStage Medical is part of a team of device makers that won a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, to develop a new medical device that can treat sepsis.
As many as 10% of combat wounds result in life threatening infections that ultimately lead to septicemia and/or sepsis, according to DARPA. "This device could not only save many of our soldier's lives, it could be profoundly important in saving thousands of civilian lives each year in the United States alone," said Martin Toomajian, president of Battelle Energy, health and environment.
DARPA created the Dialysis-Like Therapeutics (DLT) program to develop a portable device that creates a holistic treatment for sepsis. The device is intended to remove blood from the body, separate harmful "dirty" agents from the blood and return "cleaned" blood to the body in a manner similar to dialysis treatment for kidney failure. DARPA has made significant investments in its DLT effort to date to multiple contractors for the development of key blood purification and diagnostic technologies that could contribute to the ultimate device.
This contract—which is funded in phases and could be as large as $22.83 million and last as long as four years—is for leading one of DARPA's DLT System Integration projects. The project calls for Battelle and key subcontractors, NxStage and Aethlon Medical, to design, develop, test and validate an advanced, portable medical device This funding does not include human clinical trials that may be required prior to military use and/or United States Food and Drug Administration clearance for sepsis-treatment technologies.
Battelle will lead a project team focusing on military user needs, systems engineering, integration of DLT technologies and pre-clinical testing. Working closely with Battelle, NxStage will design, develop and ultimately manufacture and distribute the medical device upon regulatory approval. Aethlon is developing, and plans to distribute, key blood separation component technologies for the DLT system.
"NxStage is pleased to be chosen as part of this team based upon our recognized expertise in developing and commercializing innovative, portable technology for the purification of blood, which includes use of the System One in the military environment," said Jeffrey H. Burbank, chief executive officer of NxStage Medical Inc. "We are confident that our leadership in device design will lead to a good outcome for this important DARPA project, ultimately benefitting military personnel and civilians alike."