McMaster University and Quirem Medical announce the first clinical case using the McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR) for the irradiation of QuiremSpheres®.  QuiremSpheres®, the next generation of radio-embolization microspheres, are the only commercially available microspheres that contain the radioactive isotope Holmium-166.

In recent trials, holmium microspheres were shown to be safe[1] and effective[2] for the treatment of advanced liver cancer.  Unlike the widely adopted Yttrium-90 microspheres, QuiremSpheres® can be visualized in low concentrations by means of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This allows clinicians to quantitatively assess the distribution of microspheres in the liver, enabling accurate evaluation of treatment directly after the radio-embolization procedure.

In view of the increased demand for QuiremSpheres® and QuiremScout®, Quirem Medical and McMaster University’s Nuclear Operations and Facilities (NO&F) unit have entered into a strategic partnership. This successful collaboration has now resulted in the first irradiation of QuiremSpheres® at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor to treat patients in Europe. The NO&F reactor combines high availability with broad experience in producing patient-grade therapeutic and diagnostic radionuclides.

Jan Sigger, CEO of Quirem Medical B.V.: “We are excited that the long term collaboration with McMaster Nuclear Reactor has now moved into the phase of clinical production. The McMaster Nuclear Reactor has the potential to become a key asset in meeting the strongly increasing demand for our product in Europe and beyond.”

“McMaster has long been a world-leader in isotope production for the treatment of cancer,” says Chris Heysel, the university’s Director of Nuclear Operations. “Working with Quirem Medical has allowed us to build our capacity and become the first North American producer of this innovative and critically important treatment.  We’re proud to be having a significant impact on global health.”

About Quirem

Quirem Medical is an emerging medical device company with a mission to develop the next generation microspheres for targeted interventional treatment of liver malignancies. It is based in Deventer, the Netherlands and is a spin-off company from the University Medical Center in Utrecht.

About McMaster University

Located in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, McMaster is Canada’s nuclear university. The McMaster University campus houses a world class suite of nuclear research facilities anchored by the McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR) – a multi-purpose research resource that provides neutrons for medical isotope production and scientific research. McMaster University’s nuclear research facilities enable discoveries in medicine, clean energy, nuclear safety, materials and environmental science, and are operated by the Nuclear Operations & Facilities unit. Learn more at nuclear.mcmaster.ca.

Click here to see the original Quirem press release.

[1] Smits et al. Lancet Oncology 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70334-0
[2] Prince et al. Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.117.197194