By Peter Laird, MD
The FDA Innovation Pathway recently selected three new technologies for this new program. Dr. Victor Gura has been testing prototypes of his WAK for several years and now will focus his future efforts through a collaboration with the University of Washington in Seattle. Many patients have expressed interest in this new and exciting technology that promises a new level of renal replacement therapy rivaling transplant. Looking at data from an earlier prototype compared to standard therapies illustrates well the potential of this modality.
In this graphic representation, the prior WAK prototype achieved 25 ml/min clearances. Keep in mind that his latest prototype achieved 40 ml/min clearances specifically designed to deliver a large enough clearance to allow children to grow. Even at 25 ml/min clearances, the WAK would deliver more total daily clearance than daily nocturnal treatments currently achieve. The FDA path to approval was also considered in the application for the FDA Innovation Pathway.
These five successive clinical studies will have to show significant benefit and no harm to the patients as the trials progress through these individual stages. All of these proposed trials will be randomized and controlled. The FDA approval of the path to marketing this device sends an important message throughout the dialysis industry. The future of renal replacement treatments not only with this device but many other proposed medical devices also working their way through the system should give all with ESRD a new hope of a promising future.
There were thirty two new technologies submitted for approval of this program and the FDA chose these three as the starting point of the new Innovation Pathway. The fact that we have over thirty new devices developed far enough to consider human trials gives us all hope that the treatments of today shall soon be eclipsed by superior devices. Dr. Gura's WAK opens the doors for a new future and I look forward to seeing the developments of this technology in the next few years.
(Slides courtesy of Dr. Victor Gura)