Liaison(s): William Colone, Stefan Schreck
Endologix develops, manufactures, and markets minimally invasive medical devices for the treatment of aortic disorders with a focus on the endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). On December of 2010, the company finalized the acquisition of Nellix, a next-generation endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) technology designed to reduce the rate of secondary interventions and post-procedure surveillance. Unlike currently available technologies, the Nellix device seals the aneurysm sac by filling “endobags” with a biocompatible polymer to minimize the potential for aneurysm growth and rupture, and device migration. The Endologix TMP team was tasked with conducting technical feasibility studies of the Nellix device for a new indication in the thoracic aorta, which has unique and dynamic biomechanical constraints. An initial assessment of the competitive landscape helped the team clarify the value proposition for the Nellix platform and identify areas where the Nellix device can lead to improved quality of life and reduced cost. Following this analysis, the team investigated the physiological constraints observed in the thoracic therapeutic in an effort to clarify design parameters and engineering constraints for a future Nellix EVAR device. The Endologix TMP developed, and implemented experimental and computational protocols to test the ability of the Nellix polymer formulation to withstand the dynamic environment in the thoracic aorta. Based on the data collected, the team developed recommendations to optimize therapeutic performance, reduce operating costs, and enhance market strategy for a future Nellix EVAR device.