NEED TO KNOW
An award-winning hydroxyapatite coating for drug-eluting technologies offers an alternative to polymer-based coatings.
MIV Therapeutics Inc. (Atlanta; www.mivtherapeutics.com) has been awarded the 2008 Frost & Sullivan North America technology innovation award in the field of interventional cardiology in recognition of the company’s use of hydroxyapatite (HA) in the development of coatings suitable for drug-eluting devices.
An organic material, HA can be found in bone and teeth and is widely used as a substitute material for bone. In addition, the material is often employed in coatings for implantable orthopedic and dental fixation devices. Owing to their use of HA, MIV’s drug-eluting technologies could provide an attractive alternative to current polymer-based coatings on the stent market, which have been associated with undesirable effects, says Mark Landy, company president and CEO.
“Our hypothesis has been that polymers are fundamentally toxic, unlike HA, which has demonstrated excellent in vivo safety in other applications,” Landy says. “[HA] is a naturally occurring substitute for polymers that, when coated on a stent, won’t delay healing and cause some of the other problems we see with synthetic materials.”
The benefits of HA coatings for stents are numerous, Landy says. The ultrathin coating formulation enabled by the material won’t undermine the flexibility of bare metallic stents even as it protects tissue from harmful interaction with metal. Furthermore, HA will improve uptake of the drugs by surrounding cells. The material also causes no additional inflammation, meaning the dosage of implanted drugs can be less compared with polymer-coated stents.
Frost & Sullivan award recipients are identified by a team of analysts that tracks innovation in high-tech markets. The selection process includes participant interviews, as well as primary and secondary research. Relevance and significance to the overall industry are considered, as is the pace of research, competitive advantage vis-á-vis related innovations, and the breadth of intellectual property related to the innovation.
Initial applications of the coating will be to cardiovascular stents, but the coating could potentially be used with other implantable medical devices requiring customizable drug-release properties, including orthopedic devices.