NeuroSigma and the University of California (UCLA) sign agreement to develop thin-film nitinol stent technology


NeuroSigma announced the formation of a majority owned subsidiary (NSVascular) and the signing of an exclusive license with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to develop and commercialise the university’s thin-film nitinol (TFN) covered stents for endovascular applications. The first two applications are flow-diverting stents for intracranial aneurysms and stents for treating peripheral artery disease.

A multidisciplinary team, comprised of researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science in collaboration with physicians from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has been engaged in the development and the in vitro/in vivo testing of TFN-covered intracranial aneurysms and peripheral artery disease stents.

“Pre-clinical in vivo testing has shown a remarkable 100% aneurysm occlusion rate within minutes of treatment, an achievement unmatched by competing flow-diverting technologies,” said Fernando Vinuela, director of UCLA’s Division of Interventional Neuroradiology and a co-founder and scientific advisor to NSVascular. “Furthermore, our TFN-covered flow-diverting stent keeps the flexibility of the delivery system allowing safer distal intracranial navigation and stenting of a larger number of aneurysms,” added Vinuela.

The company believes that flow-diverting stents represent one of the fastest growing segments of the neurovascular market and may supplant intracranial coiling as the preferred treatment for certain aneurysms.

The license with UCLA also includes the use of TFN-covered stents for the treatment of peripheral artery disease. Since 2009 under an NIH Challenge Grant, UCLA has been conducting in vivo pre-clinical trials to demonstrate that its TFN-covered stents may eventually be used for the treatment of peripheral artery disease by remaining patent even in vessels as small as 3 millimeters. A unique surface treatment of UCLA’s TFN film provides super-hydrophylic properties, which greatly reduces the adherence of platelets.

“For the past five years our engineering team has benefited from collaborating with a top-notch UCLA medical team, spearheaded by Dan Levi and Fernando Vinuela. I am looking forward to working closely with the experienced management team at NeuroSigma and NSVascular in commercialising this promising technology,” said Greg Carman, UCLA professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a co-founder of NSVascular.

“We are very excited that NSVascular will be moving this technology through translational studies and hopefully ultimately to patients thereby benefitting both society and the economy at large,” said Earl Weinstein, associate director of UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property.

“We are delighted to have signed our fourth license with UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property and look forward to working closely with a new team of engineers and physicians from UCLA,” said Lodwrick M Cook, chairman of NeuroSigma.

NSVascular’s TFN-covered stents are investigational devices and at this time are limited by United States law for investigational pre-clinical use only.