UW Spinoff PhysioSonics Snaps up $2.5M Defense Grant to Monitor Brain Blood Flow
Bellevue, WA-based PhysioSonics has picked up a $2.5 million grant from a military agency to see if its ultrasound technology can be adapted to the battlefield.
PhysioSonics said today it has gotten the grant from the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, an organization at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, located at Fort Detrick, MD.
The aim of the research grant will be to see whether PhysioSonics’ technology can determine when a soldier is suffering from vasospasm, a potentially deadly condition in which blood vessels of the brain constrict, usually after a loud explosion. The condition can be hard to detect, but when it is, doctors can reduce the rate of death and disability, the company said.
The PhysioSonics ultrasound technology, which has origins at the University of Washington, has been backed by a local syndicate of investors including former SonoSite chairman Kirby Cramer, as well as the big device players Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic.
PhysioSonics said in today’s release that it plans to file an application for FDA approval of its technology, although it didn’t disclose timing. The initial plan is to pitch its technology to neurosurgeons, and heart surgeons, the company said. I described the basic idea of this continuous technology for monitoring brain blood flow, and how it’s supposed to be more automated than existing transcranial Doppler ultrasound, in a June 2009 feature story. The company said it recently completed a clinical trial that “showed parity” between its technology and the existing ultrasound methods.