Terumo Corporation has announced it has completed the acquisition of Quirem Medical, a Netherlands-based healthcare start-up specialising in the development of next-generation microspheres for selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), a treatment for liver tumours. Under the terms of the agreement, Terumo acquired 80.1% of the shares of Quirem Medical. This is over and above its current share position of 19.9%, making Quirem Medical now a wholly owned subsidiary of Terumo.
Terumo will make a one-time, up-front payment of US$20 million, with up to US$25 million additional payments based on the achievement of future milestones by 2030. It will be funded through cash on hand and will not significantly impact the company’s financial projections for the current fiscal year ending 31 March 2021.
Quirem Medical has developed and manufactures QuiremSpheres, the only commercially available microspheres containing the radioactive isotope Holmium-166. Recent trials have shown the safety and efficacy of holmium microspheres for the treatment of unresectable liver cancer. To improve patient selection, therapy planning, and treatment verification, QuiremSpheres can be visualised and quantified even in low concentrations by means of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This is unique and cannot be done with currently available Yttrium-90 based microspheres.
Furthermore, Quirem Medical also produces QuiremScout, a low dose holmium microsphere that helps evaluate the biodistribution of microspheres prior to therapy, and a dosimetry software package, Q-Suite, which is used to plan QuiremSpheres treatments based on QuiremScout dose imaging. Q-Suite is also able to determine SIRT success immediately after the procedure by converting SPECT and MR imaging into absorbed dose distributions. Together, these three integrated products (QuiremSpheres, QuiremScout, and Q-Suite) make up the full Holmium SIRT Platform. The Holmium Platform equips physicians with the necessary tools to optimise SIRT outcomes through more personalised treatment, a Terumo press release asserts, addressing the individual needs of each patient.
QuiremSpheres, QuiremScout, and Q-Suite are CE-marked and currently available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In the coming years, Terumo intends to launch the Holmium Platform globally as part of the ongoing expansion of its interventional oncology portfolio.
The global interventional oncology market value is more than US$1 billion, which is a rapidly growing field with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7%. Within this field, SIRT is one of the main treatments that is expected to help to drive this growth year on year.
Terumo has been building its presence in the interventional oncology field, with product offerings such as the micro catheter system (Progreat), compressible microspheres for embolization (HydroPearl), drug-eluting microspheres (LifePearl), and biodegradable drug-eluting microspheres (BioPearl). In 2015, Terumo invested in Quirem Medical and became the exclusive global distributor of their technology.