Quirem Medical is a spin-off of UMC Utrecht and focuses on one of the largest growth markets in medical technology: interventional oncology. This specialty focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of tumours with the help of minimally invasive and image controlled techniques.
Quirem Medical has launched QuiremSpheres®, a product for the treatment of liver cancer. One doses of QuiremSpheres® contains around 30 million radioactive microspheres. These are very small balls that radiate radioactive radiation. The microspheres are entered into the body by hospital staff through the hepatic artery and go to the tumours through the bloodstreams. A microsphere’s diameter is 30 micrometre. Therefore, the balls will get stuck in the blood vessels around and in the tumours. Afterwards, the balls radiate their radiation and destroy the tumour tissue, while the healthy liver tissue remains largely intact.
The QuiremSpheres® product is unique because it contains the radio-isotope holmium-166. Because of this, the microspheres can be made clearly visible with SPECT and MR imaging after treatment. In other words, the doctor can judge carefully whether the tumours have received plenty of radiation and whether the patient can expect a good treatment result. The holmium balls have their origin in UMC Utrecht, where they have worked on this technology for over 20 years. Multiple studies have shown that the treatment method is safe and effective.
In Deventer, Quirem has a production and research lab. Quirem has 22 employees at the moment. In the research lab, Quirem has started developing and testing applications for the treatment of tumours in the head, neck and brain. In addition, Quirem develops its own software for the visualisation of the balls. Quirem Medical started collaborating with Japanese medical-technological company Terumo in 2016. Terumo is a big player in the field, with 20,000 employees and an annual turnover of over 4 billion dollars. Quirem can therefore now use Terumo’s worldwide sales and marketing channel that is active in 160 countries. At Terumo, around 50 employees are actively involved in the commercialisation and sales of products by Quirem Medical at the moment.
Quirem | Jan Sigger