Artio Medical has acquired US-based medical device company Flow Forward Medical in a stock-for-stock merger transaction.

Flow Forward develops new methods for establishing and maintaining vascular access sites to improve outcomes for hemodialysis patients.

The acquisition is expected to scale up Artio’s peripheral vascular portfolio.

Artio Medical president and CEO Nicholas Franano said: “Flow Forward’s venous dilation technology is highly complementary to Artio’s existing peripheral vascular portfolio with significant overlap in physician call points and procedures.

“This acquisition provides a unique opportunity to diversify Artio’s endovascular pipeline, which will now include next-generation vascular access solutions for kidney failure patients.”

Globally, over 2.3 million patients are estimated to suffer from end-stage renal disease and require hemodialysis. An arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the preferred vascular access method for these patients.

However, nearly 35% of US hemodialysis patients are ineligible to receive an AVF due to small vein diameters and inadequate flow, while approximately 50% of AVFs fail to mature without additional procedures in the eligible patients.

Flow Forward’s arteriovenous fistula eligibility system (AFE system) is designed to stimulate flow-mediated vein dilation to expand the initial vein diameter before the creation of an AVF.

It is expected to increase the number of hemodialysis patients eligible for AVF and extend the usability and lifespan of newly created AVFs.

Flow Forward chief technology officer and general manager Paul Muller said: “Creating and maintaining reliable access sites is a complex vascular challenge, often resulting in complications, repeat procedures and increased cost to patients, yet is critical for life-saving hemodialysis treatment.

“We are very excited Artio recognises the significant potential of our technology and we look forward to leveraging their expertise as we prepare for our first clinical use in the coming months and then move toward commercialisation.”