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MRI Interventions and Voyager Therapeutics partner on Parkinson's therapy

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 22, 2018
Alzheimers/Neurology Health IT MRI
MRI Interventions will develop real-time
MR imaging guidance neurosurgical solutions
with Voyager therapeutics to enhance gene
therapy for Parkinson's
Minimally-invasive neurosurgical devices using real-time MR imaging guidance will soon be in development as part of a strategic partnership between MRI Interventions Inc. and Voyager Therapeutics Inc.

The two will develop new hardware, software and cannulas to support the delivery of Voyager’s gene therapy programs, one of which, VY-AADC, will utilize MRI Interventions’ ClearPoint and SmartFlow products for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. As part of the agreement, service and clinical case support will be available for the solutions.

“MRI Interventions is a leader in the area of minimally-invasive neurosurgical devices using real-time MR-imaging, and they have already provided meaningful support of our Phase 1b Parkinson’s program,” Steven Paul, Voyager’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are excited to now leverage our relationship toward service, support and development of devices for our pivotal program as it advances in clinical development, and potentially for optimizing delivery for some of our other gene therapy programs as well.”

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Using a hospital’s existing diagnostic or intraoperative MR suite, the ClearPoint Neuro Navigation System provides real-time MR and stereotactic guidance by equipping clinicians with the ability to perform a range of minimally-invasive procedures in the brain from electrode insertion to biopsies. The system is composed of hardware components, disposable components and intuitive, menu-driven software, and can be used with 1.5T or 3T scanners.

MRI Interventions’ SmartFlow neuro ventricular cannula is an MR-compatible and aspiration cannula designed with an inner lumen that allows low priming volumes to reduce therapeutic agent waste. The solution comes with eight configurations and two gauge sizes, each with a short or long extension tube.

Both brands will be used in the planned Phase 2-3 pivotal program for VY-AADC with MRI Interventions offering supply and increased stock of ClearPoint and SmartFlow devices in support of the program and its potential commercial launch.

In exchange, Voyager will train MRI Interventions' clinical specialists to assist in the planned Phase 2-3 pivotal program for VY-AADC.

The design of next-generation navigation systems, software and cannula devices by the two will be tailored to provide further support and resources for Voyager's gene therapy programs.

“In our 2017 financial results conference call held this past March, we described how one of our four growth strategies includes being the leader in biologics and drug delivery focused in neurosurgery,” Joe Burnett, president and CEO of MRI Interventions, said in a statement. “This agreement is an example of us executing on that strategy with the goal of being not just a supplier but also a meaningful provider of clinical case support and development of potential new devices in the exciting area of gene therapy drug development.”

MRI Interventions did not respond for comment.

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