Israeli biomedical company IceCure Medical, which developed technology that freezes cancerous tumors, has announced a distribution agreement with Japanese medical multinational Terumo Corporation that would commercialize its cryoablation system to treat malignant breast tumors in Japan and Singapore, the company said in a statement.
Founded in 2006, IceCure developed a pair of cryoablation systems for treating malignant and benign tumors. The treatments involve streaming liquid nitrogen in a closed circuit and then freezing the tumor with a unique needle developed by IceCure. The company says the healthy tissue remains untouched.
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IceCure’s proprietary, flagship ProSenseTM liquid-nitrogen based system, has FDA approval and a CE mark.
Last year, IceCure reported great success rates following clinical trials across the US using the IceSense3 system. IceCure said doctors performed the procedures on 146 patients affected by early-stage breast cancer, a majority (103) of whom were under monitoring for almost two years. The company reported that out of the 146 women, one saw the cancer recur.
IceCure touts its procedures as non-invasive, safe, and a viable alternative to surgery.
Under the terms of the agreement with Terumo, the Japanese multinational is set to purchase 10 ProSenseTM system consoles and consumables for use in clinical trials to support regulatory filing and commit up to $2 million for doing so. Terumo will also be responsible for obtaining all regulatory approvals and insurance indemnifications in Japan.
Eyal Shamir, IceCure’s CEO, said in a statement: ” With Terumo’s proven medical distribution network and the necessary sales and marketing expertise, this new partnership will support rapid commercialization of our cryoablation solution in Japan and Singapore, pending regulatory approval.”
“The ProSenseTM system has already demonstrated excellent progress as a rapid, in-office solution for the treatment of breast tumors,” said Tsuyoshi Tomita, Group Manager, General Hospital Products Group, Terumo Corporation. “With its expanding clinical data as a non-surgical alternative to treat cancer, the innovative ProSenseTM system makes an exciting addition to our portfolio to address key unmet needs and improve patient outcomes.”
Last year, IceCure began commercial treatments at Elisha Hospital, a private hospital in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, on patients using the ProSense system.
As of 2011, IceCure is a publicly-traded company on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. A majority of its shares (70 percent) are owned by Chinese investor Haixiang Lee, founder and managing partner at VI Ventures.