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Brainlab acquires majority share in medPhoton

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 19, 2022
Rad Oncology Operating Room
Brainlab has acquired a majority share in medPhoton, the developer of the Loop-X robotic system. (pictured here; photo courtesy of Brainlab)
Brainlab has completed a majority acquisition of medPhoton, a manufacturer of robotic imaging solutions for image-guided radiation therapy and surgery.

The deal brings ownership of medPhoton’s Loop-X robotic system under Brainlab’s control. Designed as a mobile 3D imaging solution for surgery, Loop-X automates the imaging process and allows surgeons and staff to perform non-isocentric imaging. This saves time spent positioning patients correctly, decreases the amount of radiation exposure and increases the variety of indications that can be treated.

It also has digital and collimation capabilities, and with robotic assistance, allows imaging components to freely move during surgery. "Through this transaction, the market position of Loop-X as an intraoperative 3D imaging device in surgery will continue to be expanded. In addition, the two companies will evaluate the potential of Loop-X in other areas of applications including radiotherapy, such as brachytherapy, particle therapy and intraoperative radiation therapy," Stefan Vilsmeier, president and CEO of Brainlab, told HCB News.

Loop-X can scan structures that are much larger, such as the pelvis, while tailoring imaging to much smaller areas. Additionally, the robot captures partial information to digitize and update a "digital model of the patient" with anatomical adjustments made during the procedure. It initially creates the digital model with aggregated preoperative images.

The solution is designed to work in tandem with Brainlab's digital surgery portfolio and with provider surgical environments. It is controlled wirelessly with a touchscreen tablet. Hospital San Juan de Dios León in Spain performed the world’s first navigated spine surgery in 2021 using Loop-X mobile imaging robot technology, according to Brainlab. The company also obtained FDA clearance in February 2021 for the solution.

medPhoton manufactures CE marked and FDA cleared medical devices for image-guided procedures in radiation therapy and has a strong focus on particle therapy. It will continue operating as an independent research and development company within the Brainlab Group. Both organizations will work to expand the capabilities at the medPhoton site in Salzburg, Austria.

A developer of software-guided technology for surgery and radiotherapy, Brainlab has supported medPhoton and helped it grow as a company through a partnership in the field of intraoperative imaging. It helped launch Loop-X in 2020 and co-funded its development through strategic investments in the company. It is also the exclusive distributor of the solution.

“Moving forward, we will continue to advance the production of Loop-X as well as coordinate research and development efforts to build next-generation systems with the objective of exploring new medical applications to improve surgical procedures and therapies,” said Heinz Deutschmann, CEO of medPhoton, in a statement. “The majority acquisition by Brainlab is therefore the next logical step for us to achieve our most important goal: to advance research and development work at the highest level and expand the production of best-in-class medical technology to provide efficient therapies with optimal safety for patients."

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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