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Dr. Mark Torchia And Richard Tyc Receive Canadian Governor General's Innovation Award


PLYMOUTH, Minn., April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Monteris Medical today announced that Mark Torchia, Associate Professor of Surgery in the College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba and Richard Tyc, P.Eng., the Company's Vice President of Technology and Advanced Development, received the inaugural Governor General's Innovation Award in recognition of AutoLITT®, a technology that they co-developed. This technology gave rise to Monteris Medical's NeuroBlate® System, a laser thermotherapy device that enables minimally invasive robotic treatment of a variety of neurosurgery indications. The NeuroBlate System is currently being used in more than 35 hospitals throughout the United States and Canada.

The Governor General's Innovation Awards celebrate outstanding Canadian individuals, teams and organizations who contribute to Canada's success, shape the country's future and inspire the next generation of creators and trailblazers. Award recipients were identified through a two-stage merit-based selection process managed by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The award will be conferred on Dr. Torchia and Mr. Tyc at a ceremony taking place at Rideau Hall, Ottawa and presented by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

"We are honored to receive the inaugural Governor General's Innovation Award for our minimally invasive alternative for brain surgery, designed to improve the care and outcomes of patients with a variety of brain disorders," said Dr. Torchia. "We hope that our progress in medical devices will inspire others in Canada and around the world to develop the next generation of transformative technologies."

Dr. Torchia and Mr. Tyc developed AutoLITT as a minimally invasive alternative to open brain surgery that could allow surgeons to effectively target brain lesions while minimizing patients' pain and recovery time. Although laser-based methods were already in use for neurological conditions at the time they began their work, these approaches did not give surgeons adequate control to precisely target specific brain lesions. In 1990, while working at St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg, Dr. Torchia developed the first NeuroBlate prototype. Mr. Tyc joined him in 1999 to advance and commercialize the technology. Together, they founded Monteris Medical, Inc.

"On behalf of Dr. Torchia and all of my incredibly talented and determined colleagues at Monteris, we are excited to receive this award next month and genuinely appreciate the recognition," said Mr. Tyc. "The growing application of NeuroBlate among neurosurgeons demonstrates that our work is helping to address an important unmet need. The road from conception to commercialization is substantial but our journey is not over. Even as we receive this award for our achievement, Monteris remains committed to optimizing the use of this technology to further improve patient outcomes."

The NeuroBlate System combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer visualization to allow surgeons to remotely destroy and coagulate lesions at multiple locations in the brain, at the surface or deep inside, with the aid of sophisticated computer software. During a procedure, a surgeon makes a small hole in the skull, approximately as wide as a pencil, and precisely guides a laser probe via an MRI compatible robotic driver to apply controlled amounts of heat until the targeted tissue is destroyed.

In traditional brain operations, MRI is used after the surgery to determine if the lesion had been removed. With NeuroBlate, however, MRI visualization is used throughout the procedure, which enables real-time surgical decision-making. NeuroBlate also allows surgeons to reach tumors that are difficult to access with standard surgery or were previously considered inoperable.

About the Governor General's Innovation Awards

Established in 2015 and awarded for the first time in 2016, the Governor General's Innovation Awards are designed to inspire Canadians to be entrepreneurial innovators and to foster an active culture of innovation that has meaningful impact on Canadians' lives. The awards are under the aegis of the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General of Canada, in collaboration with the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, and the Rideau Hall Foundation. Each year, up to six award winners will be identified through a two-stage merit-based selection process that is managed by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The Awards' Advisory Committee comprises highly accomplished Canadians from all sectors of Canadian society. The Awards program operates on an annual cycle, with an awards ceremony held each spring.

For more information on the Governor General's Innovation Awards, please visit

About the NeuroBlate® System

The NeuroBlate System is Health Canada-licensed and FDA-cleared to ablate, necrotize or coagulate soft tissue encountered in the discipline of neurosurgery through the application of laser thermotherapy. NeuroBlate is a tool (as opposed to a "treatment") and is not intended to treat any specific disease. Physicians should use their clinical judgment and experience when deciding whether to use NeuroBlate.

Full prescribing information for the NeuroBlate System is available at

About Monteris®

Monteris® Medical is a privately held company developing innovative MRI-guided, laser-based brain lesion therapy. Monteris Medical markets the NeuroBlate® System, a neurosurgical ablation device providing controlled therapy for brain lesions. The company also offers the Monteris Mini-Bolt, the only cranial bolt system that enables a robotic interface for protected and precise therapy delivery, as well as the AtamA™ Stabilization System for MRI-guided neurosurgical procedures requiring head fixation.

For more information on Monteris Medical please visit

SOURCE Monteris Medical

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