Utah-Based Medical Device Co. Sells Platform Rights to Merit Medical Systems

Distal Access, a Salt Lake City-based designer and developer of medical devices, has sold the rights to its SPINR platform, to Merit Medical System’s NRI Limited in Dublin, Ireland. SPINR is a suite of medical devices for peripheral vascular, coronary vascular and endoscopic use. 

The company retained rights to the RESECTR, a novel tissue resection platform to remove uterine polyps and fibroids and the DRIVR for biopsy, bone access, and cleaning tubes (www.RESECTR.com and http://www.DISTALACCESS.com).

Incubated in the USTAR-supported BioInnovations Gateway (BiG), Distal Access developed SPINR to improve clinician’s control and feel for medical device actuation and use, and to improve the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of first-use technologies. The SPINR platform allows doctors to increase torque and control.

Distal Access was innovated, incubated, engineered, prototyped, patented, tested, molded and manufactured in Utah, and received assistance from local companies such as ZIEN Medical, BiG, Biomerics, Spring Works, Durham Jones Pinegar Law, Maschoff Brennan Law, Nelson Labs, Wood & Wood Accounting, Control Medical Technology, PandoLabs, and now Merit Medical Systems.The company received a TCIP grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) in March of this year.

“We try to use Utah based suppliers and partners whenever we can, not just because we live here, but also because it is good business,” said Shawn Fojtik, co-founder of Distal Access. “Simply put, we get more done here in Utah for the investment dollar than anywhere else in the country.”

The SPINR High Performance Guidewire controller helps clinicians cross lessons and access distal anatomy when conventional and more expensive options fail.

“The platform was FDA cleared in early 2015 and there have been numerous procedural saves since its launch,” said Fojtik. “To grow and meet market demand, we needed to partner with a sales and marketing leader. Merit is a great partner with more than 200 global sales and marketing professionals.”

SPINR predictably spins a wire, catheter or other devices three or five times clockwise, and three or five times counterclockwise, depending on which SPINR device is being used. Clinicians control how fast, and how much, a given device spins, depending on how fast and how far the clinician squeezes the handles. The clockwise and counterclockwise oscillation and torque control facilitates improved performance during a number of procedures.

“We are excited about the future for medical device development in Utah, said Fojtik. “Utah has the clinical talent, business resources and governmental support needed to commercialize a wide range of medical technologies.”