WINNIPEG, July 7, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Monteris Medical Inc. announced today that it has concluded an $8.6 million financing led by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). BDC made the investment through its venture capital division in partnership with US-based Southwest Michigan First (SWMF) and a group of seasoned Canadian individual investors.
The financing will enable Monteris to commercialize its unique AutoLITT® technology for the treatment of brain tumors in Canada and the United States. The AutoLITT System offers physicians a new option for treating brain tumors, particularly those tumors that are difficult to effectively remove with surgery or to destroy with radiation or chemotherapy.
Monteris President and CEO, Jim Duncan, said, "The AutoLITT System has the potential to become a new treatment option for patients suffering from brain cancer, one of the deadliest of diseases. Not only could it be an option for people who presently have no effective treatment options, but we believe that in some cases it could become a lower-cost or better quality-of-life alternative even if other options are available. BDC has been a strong supporter of Monteris from the time that AutoLITT was little more than a vision and remains so now that the vision is about to be realized."
Based on research initially at the University of Manitoba, AutoLITT employs a thin, steerable laser probe that can be inserted safely into a tumor through a small hole in the skull. Once in the tumor, the probe can be manipulated precisely to heat and kill the tumor cells while avoiding damage to surrounding healthy brain tissue. During the procedure, the physician uses specially-adapted MRI imaging to visualize the destruction of the tumor cells in "real-time".
A successful clinical trial has been concluded in the US and the AutoLITT System is now FDA-cleared for marketing in the US. Monteris is currently applying to Health Canada for approval to market in Canada.
"BDC Venture Capital has been supporting Monteris from seed stage through expansion," says Gary Bantle, Partner at BDC Venture Capital. "The company is uniquely positioned to offer a minimally invasive solution that will expand the range of treatment options previously available to patients with brain tumors."
Monteris is a Winnipeg-based high-tech medical device company dedicated to developing, marketing and supporting of brain cancer and other diseases where its technology can offer improved clinical outcomes and/or lower cost of care than currently-available approaches. More information is available at www.monteris.com.
Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity. www.bdc.ca
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