One Foot In Development, MRIC Toes The Line Before Positive Cash-Flow

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J. King

Last month, MRI Interventions' (MRIC.OB) ClearPoint technology was featured in a local news story by a San Francisco television station. The system, which can be added to existing hospital MRI suites, allows surgeons real-time guidance in minimally invasive cranial procedures. For instance, the news story explains how doctors at UCSF used ClearPoint to enter the skull through a minute hole - viewed in real-time with magnetic resonance imaging - and apply a localized therapy to the patient's brain tumor. While intracranial operations for treating a plethora of brain affectations are not new, ClearPoint is the first system that allows on-screen visualization of the procedure. The system takes the guesswork out of standard intracranial surgeries and significantly decreases operation time.

The technology was developed by MRI Interventions, but collaborators include some major names in the healthcare development world. The University of California San Francisco, one of the premier neurosurgery centers in the U.S., acts as an academic research partner and has adopted the system for use in its own surgery suites along with Johns Hopkins. BrainLab AG and Siemens (SI) develop imaging solutions for use in the medical industry and have been long-time partners in ClearPoint's development. Most important, however, are the collaborations that have resulted in full-system compatibility between ClearPoint and existing MRI systems.

The VISIUS Surgical Theatre, by IMRIS (IMRS), incorporates magnetic resonance imaging, fluoroscopy and CT into a multi-purpose surgical suite for use in hospitals and surgical centers. VISIUS is an enormous but necessary system that costs upwards of $5 million and takes days or weeks to install; it is a multi-room platform that sees daily use. But while an MRI system like VISIUS is able to take pre- and post-procedural images, the ClearPoint system images during an operation. And unlike the VISIUS system, ClearPoint is an

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J. King works as an investigational journalist but has a passion for research-based investing and trading.

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