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Microvascular Therapeutics receives NIH SBIR Phase I funds for its program to treat heart attack

Tucson, Arizona, July 22nd, 2020: Microvascular Therapeutics (MVT), a biotechnology company based in Tucson, AZ, was recently awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Wyatt Unger, MD, MBA, President and CEO of MVT said, “Microvascular Thrombi, or small blood clots, are often a result of contemporary treatments of heart attack, acute Myocardial Infarction (MI). These small clots block the blood supply to the heart muscle, referred to as microvascular obstruction, and adversely affect recovery after heart attack. We have developed a new ultrasound contrast agent which enables detection of small clots and combined with ultrasound could disrupt them. We aim to develop a molecularly targeted ultrasound contrast agent to detect and disrupt blood clots using focused ultrasound.”

The co-founder of MVT, Dr. Evan Unger, previously developed Definity®, the worlds #1 selling ultrasound contrast agent which is FDA approved for echocardiography (imaging the heart). MVT has developed a new, improved ultrasound contrast agent, MVT-100, which is currently in clinical testing and is being supported by the NHLBI. MVT is modifying the MVT-100 microbubble into smaller bubbles called nanodroplets for microvascular clot detection by incorporating a targeting molecule to bind the microbubbles to the clots.

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, with over 1 million Americans estimated to have a new or recurrent heart attack this year. Although mortality from heart attack has decreased in recent years, post-MI congestive heart failure is increasing due to blockage of the small blood vessels in the heart by small clots. This SBIR is leveraging the unique expertise of MVT and the Pittsburgh Center for US Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics. “The team at MVT will work with Dr. John Pacella, MS, MD, Interventional Cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Vascular Medicine Institute, who developed animal models for microvascular obstruction, and key opinion leader, Dr. Matthias Wilson, MD and Professor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, who conducted a prospective, randomized clinical trial of treating heart attack patients using transthoracic ultrasound coupled with administration of microbubbles. At MVT we have developed smaller targeted microbubbles, called nanodroplets which will permeate the clots more easily and upon activation by ultrasounds dissolve the clots. The grant is for the in vivo proof of concept studies and translate our in vitro observations into small animal models of microvascular obstruction.” said Emmanuelle Meuillet, PhD, VP of Research and Development at MVT.

This research is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health through grants R44HL137447 and 1R43HL152819.

About Microvascular Therapeutics (MVT)

Microvascular Therapeutics is a biotechnology company based in Tucson, Arizona and is a leader in microbubble technology. MVT's mission is to develop the next generation of contrast agents for diagnostic ultrasound and advance the field of ultrasound for diagnosis and treatment of disease. The chemists at MVT have developed a new, patented formulation that may potentially serve as a platform for development of agents for molecular imaging and image-guided therapy. (

For further information contact Wyatt Unger at

Disclaimer: Certain statements in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements.” Press Release Distribution Terms of Use or results may differ substantially as a result of risks and uncertainties facing us. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations as of the date of these statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of future events, new information, or otherwise.

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