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First Minimally Invasive Robotic Laser Thermotherapy Tool for Use in Neurological Surgery

Monteris Medical announced today that its NeuroBlate® System, a minimally invasive robotic laser thermotherapy tool, has received Health Canada License as a Class 4 Medical Device. The NeuroBlate System employs a pulsed surgical laser to deliver targeted energy to abnormal brain tissue caused by tumors and other neurological soft tissue lesions. With this recent approval, NeuroBlate is the first and only minimally invasive robotic laser thermotherapy tool available in Canada.

Monteris Medical began as a spinoff company at St-Boniface Hospital Research Centre in 1999, when Dr. Mark Torchia hired two engineers (one being Richard Tyc, currently Vice President of Advanced Technology at Monteris Medical) to help develop the technology application. The team focused on MRI guided laser treatment combining the thermal destruction of cells with the thermal monitoring available with Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The technology advanced, attracted a $1 million investment from a Canadian venture fund and the company was founded as “Technology 2000 Inc”. Soon thereafter the company name changed to “AutoLITT® Inc”, incorporating the acronym “LITT” which denotes Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy. In 2003 the company changed its name again to Monteris® Medical, Inc. and the “AutoLITT® System” became the name of the technology.

The NeuroBlate System combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and software-based visualization to allow surgeons to remotely ablate tumors in many locations in the brain, at the surface or deep inside, through a computer module. With the NeuroBlate System, a surgeon makes a small hole in the skull, approximately as wide as a pencil. The surgeon then precisely guides the small laser probe via an MRI compatible robotic driver to apply controlled amounts of heat to the targeted lesion, until the tissue is destroyed. Following the completion of a First-In-Man clinical study, Monteris Medical received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. FDA for the AutoLITT System. The product was commercialized in a limited U.S. launch in late 2010. In 2012 the product name was changed to the NeuroBlate® System.

“Monteris Medical has a long standing relationship with the St-Boniface Hospital and Research Center since it’s the Company’s inception 14 years ago in the SBGH research facilities and MRI facility” says Richard Tyc. “Mark was a principle investigator for many years at SBGH, Director of Clinical Research, and an Associate Professor of Surgery, and we continue to work closely with expert clinicians such as Dr. Blake McCarty (Neuroradiologist). Monteris is firmly committed to further development of NeuroBlate and considers Winnipeg the technology center and the SBGH Research Centre our main partner in MRI related investigations”.

Monteris press release
Winnipeg Free Press
Monteris website
St-Boniface Hospital Research spinoff companies