Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE: TFX), a leading global provider of medical devices for critical care and surgery, has announced that Semprus BioSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Teleflex Incorporated, has been awarded the initial phase of a $2.3 million research grant from the U.S. Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), located at Fort Detrick, MD. The award will support research and development of a surface-modified endotracheal tube that combines the Semprus Sustain™ Technology with the delivery of antimicrobials.
The research will be conducted at Semprus' facilities in Cambridge, MA, in conjunction with U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research (USAISR) at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. This award builds upon an initial $1 million TATRC grant awarded to Semprus BioSciences in 2011 to develop the world's first orthopedic devices designed to reduce biofilm formation.
"We are pleased to be working with the U.S. Army to help resolve a most critical issue affecting our wounded men and women in combat," said Benson Smith, Chairman, President and CEO of Teleflex. "This award was catalyzed by the U.S. Army's positive review of data from our prior award, and we are equally hopeful that this collaboration will yield greatly improved clinical outcomes for soldiers, as well as substantial cost savings to the U.S. military and civilian health care systems."
Patients who require respiratory support are typically connected to a ventilator with an endotracheal tube that is inserted in the throat. In intensive care units (ICUs), where patients are ventilated for extended periods of time, bacterial adherence to the endotracheal tube is considered the first step in developing a lung infection, or ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
Although VAP is common in civilian hospital ICUs - with rates as high as 16 cases per 1,000 ventilator days - it is a larger problem in combat military hospitals ICUs with 9.7 to 60.6 cases per 1,000 ventilator days. Late-onset VAP is associated with a mortality rate of up to 65% and more than $60,000 in increased cost per patient.
"Bacterial attachment and proliferation on endotracheal tubes is a contributing factor in the occurrence of VAP in ICU patients," said David L. Lucchino, co-founder and Vice President of Semprus BioSciences. "Through the combined materials approach of the Semprus Sustain Technology and antimicrobial drug release, we expect to reduce bacterial colonization and biofilm formation on the surface of endotracheal tubes which should affect the incidence of VAP."