Medical device developer Thrombolex Inc.’s flagship catheter is currently in use in about 60 hospitals, including Doylestown Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center in Bucks County.
But co-founder Marv Woodall says the BASHIR Endovascular Catheter has the potential to get into “thousands” of health systems with this year’s FDA clearance to market it for treatment of acute pulmonary embolism.
The problem is getting the blood-clot-busting catheter manufactured in larger quantities when Thrombolex is already bursting at the seams of its current location on Britain Drive in New Britain Borough.
But on Friday, Woodall, who is also on the board of the Bucks County Herald Foundation, was joined by Todd Richmond and state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-10, to usher in a five-month project to re-purpose a warehouse at 75 Britain Drive to provide Thrombolex with 4,500-square-feet of office and “clean” production space.
Richmond was there as president of RP3 Group, the owner of the building, and as CEO of Peregrine Surgical, the medical device manufacturer partnering with Thrombolex to make the catheter.
Santarsiero was there because he worked with then-Gov. Tom Wolf last year to secure $1.2 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to fund the project on the promise that it’d bring at least 30 jobs to Bucks County.
“In 2019...we purchased this building for future expansion, specifically for Thrombolex,” said Richmond, who also sits on the Thrombolex board. “Marv Woodall, Marguerite Quinn and Wendi Thomas had the vision and relationships with Senator Santarsiero to apply for the grant. It was a year-long application.”
Without the grant, Richmond said, the expansion wouldn’t be happening.
“This (catheter) will help save lives,” Santarsiero said. “This is what the state should be doing when it comes to economic development — investing in the growth of business and manufacturing here in Pennylvania and in Bucks County.”
The senator said he envisions a biotech corridor through Bucks County, and that Thrombolex, Peregrine and the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center life sciences incubator in Buckingham are all important pieces of that vision.
Woodall explained that the catheter delivers low-dose tPA medication directly to blood clots, dissolving them locally.
That, Woodall said, is a more effective way of treating the large potentially life-threatening clots associated with deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism than administering a much larger dose of tPA that isn’t concentrated at the location of the clot.