Research Industries Corporation (RIC) says it has acquired the rights to develop and manufacture a proprietary artificial blood vessel from Vascular International Inc.

Based upon completed animal tests, the FDA has authorized RIC to begin human testing of the manmade, small diameter vascular graft. If approved for market by the FDA, the product would be the first polyurethane replacement device for damaged vessels under 7mm in diameter.The small diameter blood vessel technology was acquired with an initial payment of approximately $450,000 in cash and stock with additional estimated payments of $1.8 million to be paid to Vascular upon FDA approval to market artificial blood vessels utilizing the acquired technology. Royalties will be paid to Vascular and the University of Utah.

Gary Crocker, president, said, "The FDA has already authorized the implantation of peripheral (lower leg) vascular grafts in humans utilizing this patented technology," said RIC President Gary Crocker.

"The University of Utah School of Medicine has authorized those human trials to begin at its facility, where the technology was developed by Dr. Donald J. Lyman."

Crocker noted that the patented small diameter vascular graft would address large existing markets in both vascular and cardiovascular medicine, with approximately 225,000 peripheral grafts and 800,000 coronary grafts annually in the United States. He estimates the U.S. market potential for the peripheral graft alone at approximately $350 million.

The firm indicated that the approved human trials will be conducted in peripheral arteries and will be initiated in the next several months.