ContrastSorb is a development-stage blood purification technology that is being optimized for the removal of IV contrast from blood in order to prevent contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). Contrast-induced nephropathy is the acute loss of renal function within the first 48 hours following IV contrast administration. IV contrast is widely administered to patients undergoing CT scans, to enhance the images and make it easier to identify anatomic structures.
IV contrast is also administered during vascular interventional radiology procedures and angiography of blood vessels in the brain, heart, limbs, and other parts of the body to diagnose and treat atherosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels due to cholesterol deposits), vascular injury, aneurysms, etc. For example, an estimated 10 million coronary angiograms are performed worldwide each year to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease by placing coronary stents, performing balloon angioplasty, or atherectomy (removal of plaque in arteries).
Overall, there are an estimated 80 million doses of IV contrast administered worldwide each year, split between approximately 65 million contrast-enhanced CT scans, 10 million coronary angiograms, and 5 million conventional angiograms. There are an estimated 30 million doses administered each year in the U.S. alone. The reported risk of CIN in patients undergoing contrast enhanced CT scans has been reported to be 2-13%. For coronary intervention, the risk has been estimated to be as high as 20-30% in high risk patients with pre-existing renal insufficiency, long-term diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and older age.
The use of low osmolar IV contrast, hydration of patients pre-procedure, orally administration of N-acetylcysteine, and other agents to prevent CIN have demonstrated modest benefit in some clinical studies, but in many cases, the results across studies have been equivocal and inconsistent. In high risk patients, the direct removal of IV contrast from the blood with ContrastSorb to prevent CIN represents a potentially more effective alternative. The worldwide market opportunity for ContrastSorb in this high risk group is approximately $1-2 billion.