Start-Up Pursuit Vascular Raises $750K, Plans $2M Round

The funds will be used for intellectual property costs and to prepare for clinical trials that will bring the company one step closer to gaining regulatory approval for its first product-which was designed to reduce the risk of life-threatening, catheter-related infections in hemodialysis patients.

Medical-device start-up Pursuit Vascular, Inc., said Monday that it raised $750,000 in bridge financing during the first quarter of 2012 and will continue its fundraising efforts.

Within the next month, the Maple Grove-based company plans to open a $2 million round of financing. The funds it raises will be used for intellectual property costs and to prepare for clinical trials that will bring it one step closer to gaining regulatory approval for its first product-the ClearGuard HD.

The ClearGuard HD was designed to reduce the risk of life-threatening, catheter-related infections in hemodialysis patients. The device itself is a rod that, when inserted into a catheter, releases an antimicrobial agent that kills infection-causing microorganisms between dialysis sessions.

People whose kidneys don't work properly typically receive dialysis three times a week to remove toxins from their blood. Hemodialysis patients usually have a permanent catheter in their chests to remove tainted blood and return the cleaned blood to their bodies. But that catheter is a ripe breeding ground for infection, and Pursuit Vascular says that dialysis patients contract an average of one-and-a-half bloodstream infections a year.

Citing the Centers for Disease Control, Pursuit Vascular said that catheter infections are among the top seven major health care challenges. In fact, nearly 1 million people worldwide acquire catheter-related bloodstream infections each year-which costs the health care system $9 billion, the company said. It aims to significantly reduce both the number of such infections and their serious and costly medical consequences.

“The health care industry is coming under tremendous pressure to reduce costs, while at the same time [increasing] quality of patient care,” Pursuit Vascular President and CEO Doug Killion said in a statement. “It is very exciting to have a product like ClearGuard HD, which is perfectly aligned with these needs and is therefore expected to be widely adopted upon regulatory approval.”