The aXess graft turns into a living blood vessel, promising an unprecedented, immediate and durable solution for hemodialysis patients
EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands - November 10, 2022 - Xeltis, a medtech company with the most advanced polymer-based restorative cardiovascular devices, announced today the initiation of a pivotal trial for the first-ever restorative synthetic hemodialysis access grafts, aXess. The first two patients have been successfully implanted, as part of the AXESS European pivotal trial at AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende AV in Bruges, Belgium by vascular surgeon Dr. Jan De Letter and discharged from hospital.
The AXESS European pivotal trial is a prospective, single arm study to evaluate the safety and performance of aXess in patients with end-stage renal disease who need hemodialysis. The study will enroll 110 patients in up to 25 centers in Europe and will follow them for five years. The aXess graft has been previously successfully implanted in 20 patients, as part of the AXESS first-in-human (FIH) trial, which completed enrolment in September 2022. AXESS FIH full cohort data are expected in 2023.
“A device that enables immediate use, as seen with the existing synthetic ePTFE grafts, and turns into a living blood vessel that recovers promptly after puncturing from each dialysis session may become the safer and longer lasting solution that patients on hemodialysis need,” explained Dr. De Letter, who also has previous experience with aXess, having implanted it during the FIH trial. “We are encouraged by the promising preliminary experience with this device from the FIH trial and confirmation in a larger trial involving more patients and implanting sites is an important next step.”
The aXess graft is a restorative, synthetic, electrospun blood vessel for arteriovenous hemodialysis access. Once implanted, its porous micro-structure gets colonized by the patient’s own tissue cells through the body’s natural healing process, to turns into a living vessel made of patient’s own tissue over time.
“Life for patients on hemodialysis means multiple hospital visits each week, involving puncturing, bleeding, waiting, healing and risk of infections from all of the above, in addition to poor renal function,” explained Dr. An De Vriese, Head of Nephrology and Infectious Diseases at AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende AV, and one of the Coordinating Investigators of the AXESS EU pivotal trial. “If a novel device can spare part of this burden through reduced bleeding, prompt coagulation and healing, lower infection risks and longer durability, it would be a life-changing experience for most patients.”
Today, patients with kidney disease that need hemodialysis access may wait for months, or unsuccessfully, for the maturation of a fistula, the first-line treatment involving the creation of an enlarged vessel. When a fistula is not an option, synthetic access grafts may be used but they have generally limited durability and are prone to bleeding after puncturing, infections and clotting, requiring frequent replacements.
“Our technology platform has generated restorative devices that may be unlocking unprecedented treatment solutions,” said Eliane Schutte, Xeltis CEO. “The initiation of the pivotal phase for the aXess graft confirms our capability to fast-track promising solutions to improve patients’ lives and our commitment to substantial evidence.”