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Vital Therapies (VTL) has spent years trying to turn plastic tubes into a lifesaving artificial liver. The work has not gone well.

Multiple clinical trials of Vital’s biomedical device called the ELAD System have either been halted prematurely or ended in failure, yet the company keeps at it. Vital’s latest effort — a do-over Phase 3 clinical trial seeking to demonstrate the ELAD System can prolong survival for certain liver failure patients — is nearing completion. Results will be announced in September.

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