St. Paul-Based Phraxis Inc. Raises $4.5M to Launch New Dialysis Tech
No patient wants to have to return to the hospital for surgery more than they have to, especially while they’re going through dialysis.
That’s why St. Paul-based medtech company Phraxis, Inc., founded in 2013, is working to put to market its Phraxis InterGraft, a longer-lasting and less invasive graft for hemodialysis, one of the two major forms of dialysis.
After recently netting $4.5 million in a Series D round of equity financing, Phraxis plans to build its inventory and pursue FDA 510(k) clearance to go to market, said James Hickey, Phraxis CEO and director.
The company hopes the InterGraft, a single-use, implantable device that provides immediate access to dialysis, will launch by end of year.
“It doesn’t require major surgery,” Hickey said of his company’s product. “It’s just a tiny little pinprick, and we insert the device in it and it just spreads the opening of the vein.”
Dialysis removes waste products and excess fluid from the blood when a patient’s kidneys stop working properly. Patients undergoing hemodialysis — a form of dialysis where a machine removes blood from a patient’s body and filters it through a dialyzer — must first have an access surgery that connects a graft to a vein and an artery under the arm.
The trouble is that current graft technology often fails before the six-month mark, Hickey said. Current technology requires surgeons to cut and suture the vein, causing trauma that makes the body react and work to “plug the holes.” Around 80 percent of grafts that are put in make it to six months, with 20 percent failing before then, requiring a patient have another surgery.
“We can extend the life of this graft, which means you can be dialyzed through this graft far longer,” Hickey said. “It just means it’s better medicine for you, it’s one less surgery.”
Phraxis is currently evaluating data over how long its graft technology lasts with plans to announce it soon.
“I can tell you we are just delighted by our endpoints,” he said.
The recent $4.5 million raise is not Pharix’s first round of financing. In 2019, the company raised approximately $5.6 million.
Hickey confirmed additional funds have been raised over the years through multiple private investors but said the company is not publicly sharing the total raised to date.