Baxter International Inc., a US-based healthcare company, and VIPUN Medical, a Belgian company working on technological solutions to help improve medical nutrition, are collaborating to commercialise VIPUN Medical’s gastric monitoring system.
The system uses a “smart” enteral feeding (intake of food via the gastrointestinal tract) tube designed to measure stomach motility in order to help clinicians identify enteral feeding intolerance, and make better informed nutrition therapy decisions in the ICU and other settings.
As part of the agreement, Baxter will support clinical studies required to achieve regulatory approval in key markets worldwide and gain global distribution rights. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Enteral feeding intolerance (EFI) is a serious problem among patients in the ICU, with approximately four in ten patients experiencing EFI, which can lead to increased risk of malnutrition.
EFI is also associated with negative clinical outcomes such as pneumonia, longer hospital stays and a higher mortality rate in patients. Diagnosis, treatment and monitoring EFI can be difficult as it requires “the evaluation of multiple clinical signs and symptoms, some of which are subjective and controversial, time consuming for clinicians, and vary between clinicians and centers”.
“While indirect calorimetry can help determine individual energy requirements, the VIPUN Gastric Monitoring System is designed to help address the need for accurate, real-time detection of tolerance to enteral feeding,” Jorge Vasseur, general manager of Baxter’s Clinical Nutrition business, said.
This technology “has the potential to significantly change the way clinicians provide nutrition therapy and directly enhance care of the most vulnerable patients,” Nico Van Tichelen, CEO of VIPUN Medical, added.
“In Baxter, we have found a partner who shares our commitment to helping to improve the practice of medical nutrition as well as the resources and expertise to make this technology available to clinicians and patients who need it most,” he concluded.
Baxter International Inc. is a Fortune 500 company with headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois. It was founded in was founded in 1931 by Donald Baxter, a Los Angeles-based medical doctor, as a manufacturer and distributor of intravenous therapy solutions.
VIPUN Medical is located in Mechelen, Belgium, and was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from KU Leuven, a research university in the Dutch-speaking city of Leuven in Flanders, Belgium.