Progress in Penetrating the Blood-Brain Barrier (Video)

Cleveland Multiport Catheter enters human testing

The elusive ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may have gotten easier thanks to a new device developed at Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Multiport Catheter uses convection-enhanced delivery (CED), in which agents are introduced directly into the brain through an implanted catheter-microcatheter device connected to a low-rate infusion pump. The global engineering firm Parker Hannifin, with headquarters in Cleveland, has joined forces with Cleveland Clinic to further develop and commercialize the device.

After extensive preclinical testing, an Investigational New Drug application was submitted to the FDA, and a first-in-human clinical study is underway using the novel catheter to deliver the chemotherapeutic agent topotecan in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas. Cleveland Clinic Innovations formed a spinoff company, Infuseon Therapeutics Inc., to further clinical development of the device, and Michael Vogelbaum, MD, PhD, of the Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, is lead developer.