Medtech company Imricor (ASX: IMR) has been awarded a contract from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance their leading MRI technology into a prototype device that can biopsy the inner walls of the heart.
The awarded contract will see Imricor receive USD $399,539 over the next 12 months for the project where physicians have expressed keen interest in an MRI compatible biopsy system.
The development of a prototype would build on Imricor’s existing expertise in cardiac ablation – the modifying of tissue within the heart – where procedures are undertaken to stop heart arrhythmias.
“We are very excited to engage with the NIH to develop this prototype biopsy system which has the potential to mark our first product line expansion beyond cardiac ablation,” said Imricor Vice President of Research and Clinical, Tom Lloyd.
The NIH contract follows a busy month from Imricor which last week confirmed a purchase order received from the Leipzig Heart Centre for Imricor products to perform their first ablation procedures outside of a clinical trial. The use of Imricor’s MRI-guided catheters is a non-invasive alternative to open-heart surgery.
MRI imaging of the heart is of particular interest to medical professionals due to poor visualisation from x-ray imaging and limitations from 3D mapping and tracking tools. Consequently MRI imaging is viewed as a safer alternative where x-ray radiation can cause permanent lesions on the heart.
Imricor’s intellectual property around their MRI-guided ablation products are relatively new but the Company has executed 3 separate agreements to sub-license its IP to 3rd parties for use in implantable devices under which Imricor has received over USD $13m in payments to date.
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