Blog Items - Marvel Medtech and XJet Intend To Disrupt Breast Cancer Detection And Treatment

Marvel Medtech and XJet Intend To Disrupt Breast Cancer Detection And Treatment

What do you get when you marry transformative medical innovation with breakthrough additive manufacturing technology? In the case of the Marvel Medtech and XJet Ltd. partnership, you may just get new breast cancer therapies that will save lives, eliminate suffering, and greatly reduce treatment costs.

Marvel Medtech LLC, based in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, is a private biotechnology company that has developed a revolutionary new approach to breast cancer detection, employing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect cancers and cryoablation (killing the tumor with extreme cold) and cryoimmunotherapy (stimulating the patient’s own immune system to provide an anti-tumor response). “It’s a transformative application for MRI in place of biopsy,” said Marvel Medtech President Ray Harter. “The problem now is current practices aren’t effective enough at finding the most dangerous, deadly cancers. MRI scanning would. Then we would cryoablate immediately, using a new tool at the end of a robotic arm.”

That’s where Marvel needed some help. To deliver on that promise, the cryoablation tool would have to be housed within the MRI itself. That calls for specialty material and design, as the tool would have to be non-disruptive to the imaging, and would have to meet regulatory standards. Ceramics are the ideal material for all these requirements. But finding a company capable of building the necessary tool from the necessary material was a challenge.

That’s where Israel-based XJet comes in. They’ve been in business since 2005, and have raised over $130 million over four funding rounds. They shipped their first commercial printer last year. Their Nanoparticle Jetting 3-D printing technology is capable of printing in ceramics with unprecedented levels of detailing, finish and accuracy. “We deposit very thin layers of material by jetting nanoparticles in a liquid suspension,” said Hanan Gothait, XJet’s CEO. “We achieve freedom of design with ultra-fine details, smooth surfaces, and nearly 100% density. These properties coupled with a high degree of automation in the process make it an efficient manufacturing tool.” These factors made the technology an ideal fit for the Marvel Medtech cryoablation tool.

The result could prove nearly miraculous. “We’ll make the current detection and treatment protocols go away,” Harter said. “Currently, MRI is not focused on the broad population. The current X-ray scans are 35% effective – they detect calcification, which is prevalent in slow-growth tumors. We’re missing the more aggressive ones that MRI is best at finding. We estimate $375 for our screening, which then makes MRI screening accessible for the whole population. Then our preemptive treatment for those with suspicious findings will be $5,000 to $7,500 each, will be less invasive than current treatments, and will be potentially curative.

“We do the MRI scan, then cryoablate if needed,” he continued. “That makes biopsies obsolete. It makes lumpectomies obsolete. And it makes mastectomy obsolete.”

The company is working to further reduce costs. “We’re in negotiation with a Silicon Valley company, POC Medical Systems [a diagnostics startup that’s raised a total of $22.1 million in two funding rounds], to license their 45 minute test to pre-screen patients,” Harter said. “We’d use that to eliminate all healthy patients from the more costly further screening and treatment.”

For XJet, it’s an opportunity for a high-profile use of their Carmel 1400 printer, which prints in both ceramics and metals, and has one of the largest build trays in the industry. The machine is a favorite for production of ceramic surgical instruments, watch components, and antenna components for 5G technology applications.

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Rehovot 7670104, Israel

972-732-694620

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