Austin-based ProPep Surgical, a privately-held medical device company developing intraoperative nerve monitoring technologies for laparoscopic and robotic-assisted cancer surgery, yesterday announced it was awarded a $4,435,857 product development grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. ProPep will use the grant to conduct additional clinical studies, including two multi-center clinical studies that will analyze how the use of their ProPep Nerve Monitoring System can help reduce nerve damage related side-effects, such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence in robotic-assisted prostate cancer surgery, and urinary and fecal incontinence in robotic-assisted radical hysterectomy surgery.
Since 2009, when it first began operating, CPRIT has awarded more than $850 million in grants to Texas institutions. The institute had already announced it would award ProPep, earlier this year, when it announced 17 new grants totaling $86 million for cancer research, development & company relocation.
The first, real-time nerve identification system specifically designed for use during robotic-assisted surgery, the ProPep Nerve Monitoring System Fast is accurate and easy to use. It aids a surgeon in identifying otherwise invisible nerves during minimally invasive robotic-assisted pelvic surgery. The product is currently FDA cleared for use during laparoscopic and robotic-assisted prostate cancer surgery.
Tom Stone, Chief Executive Officer of ProPep Surgical, said to be “honored” that ProPep was chose for the CPRIT grant, an award that will allow the company to accelerate its clinical initiatives toward its goal of improving post-surgery quality of life for cancer patients. “Nerve injury is widely recognized as one of the primary causes of erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence following prostate cancer surgery. Literature reports up to 38% of patients have erectile dysfunction and 10% are incontinent following “successful” robotic-assisted prostate cancer surgery. ProPep’s focus is to help surgeon’s improve these results by providing them real time information about the location of these critical nerves so they can be avoided during surgery,” said Stone.
About ProPep Surgical
ProPep Surgical was established in 2010. The ProPep Nerve Monitoring System is meant to aid laparoscopic and robotic surgeons in identifying the location of and monitoring the integrity of otherwise nonvisible nerves during minimally invasive pelvic surgery. Real time identification of these nerves allows surgeons to make more informed decisions about which tissue to selectively preserve or remove during surgery and as a result, potentially reduces the common side effects typically attributed to inadvertent nerve damage during these procedures. Learn more at propepsurgical.com.
About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
CPRIT began operations in 2009. To date, it has awarded more than $850 million in grants to Texas researchers, institutions, non-profits and private enterprises. Besides scientific research funding, CPRIT also provides funding for product development and prevention programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached every corner of the state, brought more than 50 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and made life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services accessible to more than 1.3 million Texans at risk of cancer. In 2013, CPRIT worked with the Texas Legislature and its stakeholders on restructuring measures that have strengthened agency governance and improved transparency and accountability.