November 13, 2014 — Indianapolis interventional medical device maker Nico Corporation and Toronto-based Synaptive Medical announced at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting that they have joined forces to integrate their innovative technologies for brain surgery. Nico's BrainPath interventional access technology and Synaptive's BrightMatter real-time 3-D visualization and planning system are the foundation of a unique sales agreement that enables the two companies to improve market penetration and also bring an integrated surgery solution to neurosurgeons and the patient population.
The collaboration between Nico and Synaptive is an agreement that allows Nico to act as a United States sales agent for Synaptive Medical. Nico currently has 20 field team representatives throughout the United States. Nearly 200 neurosurgeons have been trained on the BrainPath surgical approach through concentrated education courses and over 1,000 successful surgeries have been performed. Clinical and scientific evidence is building with peer-reviewed publications, 9 peer-reviewed abstracts and case studies presented or published validating the clinical and patient outcomes using BrainPath.
In this time of advanced technology and once-complicated surgeries moving to minimally invasive approaches, truly replicating this standard of care in neurosurgery remains one of the final frontiers. The move is similar to what happened in orthopedics when the specialty went from performing open knee surgery that required weeks of recovery time to arthroscopic surgery that is done today in which patients recover in much shorter times and with less trauma.
The patented BrainPath provides unique surgical access to brain abnormalities and atraumatically accesses emergent and hard-to-reach brain lesions that were considered inoperable or inaccessible. It is designed to minimize tissue damage by displacing tissues of the brain during advancement to the abnormality – much like the way a boat hull moves through water by displacing what is in front of it – all through an opening smaller than a dime. The outer sheath remains in the brain to serve as a protective portal for surgeons to easily maintain access to the surgical site during tissue removal or fluid evacuation.
BrightMatter products provide advanced visualization and planning tools that enable pre-operative planning for image-guided treatments. Using automated data processing that allows for brain segmentation and hands-free imaging registration to generate real-time 3-D tractography, the BrightMatter workflow approach fuses tractography with the area of interest to plan a simple and intuitive trajectory for the BrainPath intervention technology. The BrainPath provides a pathway for tissue removal tools, which enables resection of abnormalities.
This is not the first time Nico and Synaptive have joined their company technologies to create a new market and change a standard of patient care. In 2004, the two partnered under Sentinelle Medical and Suros Surgical Systems to make breast biopsy for high-risk women possible while in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite. This combination of imaging and intervention made diagnosing breast lesions as malignant or benign possible prior to mastectomy for women in this high-risk category. Both companies were later acquired by Hologic Inc.