The WAK hits a funding roadblock - corporate interests at play?

I was horrified when I read this post on the Facebook page of Dr. Victor Gura of the Blood Purification Technologies, the developers of the Wearable Artificial Kidney:

Dear friends of the WAK,

In several past posts we had annonced, that the first WAK trial would be carried out sometimes in the fall of 2013.
Unfortunately, that will not be the case.
Last August,we had the promise of having sufficient funding available to us, that would have allowed us to carry out our first FDA approved trial in Seattle. We received a cash advance, and work started in earnest.
A few weeks later, the financial support for the trial, and also the continued developement of the WAK, were witdrawn by those that had indicated that they would support it. Thus, manufacturing of the devices to be used in Seattle were halted, and the trial will not be carried out until the study is funded.

The development of the WAK is currently at a standstill solely because of lack of financial support.

We are sorry to have to make this announcement. Now we must wait further until the funds, allowing us to resume work, become available. 
We will continue to work diligently, in order to make the WAK happen, and we wanted you to know that we are not giving up at all. ,

This is really sad. What could be the reasons behind this withdrawal of funding? This device holds so much promise for people on dialysis. It offers the freedom from being tethered to a giant machine lifelong! It offers a real chance at normalcy for us dialysis patients. Things were looking so good. The FDA even approved the device for the accelerated approval pathway and we were told that in 3 years from then (more than a year back), the device would be in the market!

I may be over-reacting here but I have read of a couple of instances where the big corporates have scuttled the development of such game-changing devices to protect their own business interests. The way this has happened - initially promising funding and then withdrawing it at a crucial stage - all points to some sinister conspiracy against the development of the WAK.

I have no clue on Dr. Victor Gura's plans to tide this crisis. All I can say is that the hopes and prayers of the entire dialysis patient community are with him and his team and we strongly wish that he overcomes this situation and succeeds in his mission to bring succour to the thousands of patients worldwide.


Madras Hash said…
Reading your blog after many a month. Ever since Google dropped their RSS reader.

Why did the WAK not go in for crowd funding?