Bladder cancer is the 5th most prevalent cancer worldwide, and the most expensive cancer from diagnosis to death. Every year over 340.000 new patients are diagnosed worldwide. Current diagnostic methods are inadequate, as the urologist has to base his decision on incomplete visual information. This leads to the fact that 30% of the surgeries performed are unnecessary, and in 30% of the cases tumors are missed.
Scinvivo’s imaging catheter provides real time, cross-sectional, in depth tissue images. Using this disrupting technology, the urologist can see what is going on beneath the bladder wall surface and provide a more accurate diagnosis. Expenses will decrease as unnecessary surgeries are prevented. The catheter is in the working channel of the cystoscope that is used during bladder examinations, and is an addition to this examination.
The imaging catheter works using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which is a technology analogous to ultrasound, but uses photonics instead of soundwaves. Using light enables a very high resolution (1-50 μm) over a depth range of 3mm. Literature shows the benefits of using OCT in the bladder. The catheter uses innovative microelectro-mechanical-system (MEMS) mirror technology to create a laser scanner that scans the suspicious tissue.
Scinvivo filed a patent on the MEMS technology and the application in a forward looking OCT-catheter. Because of the innovative MEMS technology used in our catheter, Scinvivo has a 4 years head start and a €4M advantage on companies that want to copy the product. The AMC hospital in Amsterdam has ordered the first 25 catheters for a price of 750€ apiece. Next to that, Scinvivo obtained multiple subsidies and loans.
Meet the team
Maaike de Jong
Marijn van Os
Venture Partner at NLC