Monteris Medical was formed following a conversation between Dr. Mark Torchia, PhD, Director of Clinical Research at the University of Manitoba and Dr. Michael West MD, Neurosurgeon, in the cafeteria at St. Boniface General Hospital, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in the mid 1980’s. The conversation involved a discussion about the first stereotactic brain tumor biopsy case in Winnipeg. Dr. West expressed to Dr. Torchia the desire for something to treat the patient’s brain tumor in the same minimally invasive way. They asked the question “If we are able to insert a needle into a lesion to take a biopsy, why can’t we then ablate the lesion with a laser, through the same small surgical entry point?” Dr. Torchia decided to begin a research initiative in his laboratory as a result of this conversation. He began by investigating laser types and energy delivery mechanisms that could be used for such a procedure.
In 1999, Dr. Torchia finally had a concept he felt would work. He hired two engineers (which included Richard Tyc, current Vice President of Advanced Technology for Monteris Medical) to develop the technology application. The team focused on combining laser energy for thermal destruction of cells with thermal monitoring and guidance via Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). They started with a small research grant provided by St. Boniface Research Center in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
Dr. Torchia’s research attracted a $1 million investment from a Canadian venture fund and the company was founded as “Technology 2000 Inc”. Soon thereafter, the company name changed to “AutoLITT®, Inc.,” incorporating a dream for automating the procedure…The acronym “LITT” stands for Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy. In 2003, the company changed its name to Monteris® Medical, Inc. and the “AutoLITT® System” became the brand name of the technology. Following the completion of a First-In-Humans clinical study, Monteris Medical received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. FDA for the AutoLITT System for MRI-guided neurosurgical ablation. The product was commercialized in a limited U.S. launch in late 2010.
In 2012, the technology became known as the NeuroBlate® System. Today, NeuroBlate is used clinically at multiple sites in the US, and is now also available in Canada. Monteris Medical is proud of its history as a company with a product designed by neuroscience researchers for clinical use by neurosurgeons. We are focused on helping neurosurgeons address difficult brain lesions and providing new options for patients.