MRI Interventions, IMRIS and Tocagen combine their technologies for drug delivery to treat brain cancer


MRI Interventions and IMRIS announced that a surgical team at a USA neuroscience institution has delivered the investigational gene therapy drug Toca 511 directly into a  glioblastoma brain tumour using real-time intraoperative MRI (iMRI)  guidance within an IMRIS VISIUS Surgical Theatre. MRI Interventions’ ClearPoint neurointervention system was reported as being used as the navigation platform and the ClearPoint SmartFlow large-bore cannula as the vehicle for delivery of the therapeutic agent.

The procedure performed, according to the companies, in early May was the first convergence of these technologies. According to the press release the use of the technologies allowed surgeons to visually monitor and confirm delivery of the amount of the potentially drug precisely to the target location in  the patient’s brain within a operating room designed for patient safety and efficiency.

Using the VISIUS Surgical Theatre’s iMR imaging in conjunction with the ClearPoint System’s guidance software and ClearPoint MR-compatible components, neurosurgeons are, according to the companies, able to visually differentiate tumour tissue from healthy brain tissue, establish the target location for delivery of the therapeutic agent, and visualize delivery of the therapy in real time.

“We believe the key to drug delivery in the brain is the precise delivery of the therapeutic agent with immediate visual confirmation of results, to ensure that the full potential of the therapy is measured without apprehension over whether the drug hit its target,” said Kim Jenkins, CEO of MRI Interventions. “With ClearPoint and real-time MR imaging, the surgeon can know that the drug hit its target.”

In addition to drug delivery, the combination of ClearPoint and VISIUS technologies could be implemented for neurosurgical applications including laser ablation therapy, deep brain stimulation surgery, and brain biopsy, according to a press release.