Plymouth, Minnesota-based Monteris Medical announced Monday that the medical device firm has raised $7.8 million.
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) led the round, while SWMF Life Science Fund and several undisclosed parties also invested in the round.
The money will be used to further commercialize a new version of the NeuroBlate system, which is an MRI-guided laser probe used to kill cancer tumors in the brain. The less invasive device is guided by a live MRI of the patient’s skull that helps the surgeon working at a kiosk to see the cancer cells being destroyed and allows him or her to maneuver the laser probe. The MRI essentially picks up the temperature map of the tissue being heated.
“By taking raw data from the MRI, we can integrate thermal tomography into our software and so the physician sees the cancer cells being killed in real time,” explained John Schellhorn, Monteris president and CEO, to an audience gathered at the annual LifeScience Alley Conference in Minneapolis in early December.
The money raised in this round will be used to bring the third generation of the NeuroBlate. In a news release Monday, Schellhorn saidthat the new generation of the NeuroBlate system, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is evaluating, aims toreduce treatment times, provide better planning tools, provide ease of use and serve as a platform for ongoing development.
In 2012, Monteris, which moved its headquarters from Canada to Minnesota, raised nearly $16 million.
What is unique about the technology, other than the fact that it is being performed while the patient is in an active MRI, is that repeat procedures are possible. That is because there is no radiation being used to kill the malignant tumor in the brain, explained W. Keith Sootsman, product/project manager at Monteris, said in December. Invasive procedures such as stereotactic radiosurgery has limitations because of radiation, he said.