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    Date submitted
  • 17-Nov-2016

NU-RISE

Abstract

NU-RISE develops nuclear radiation sensors and equipment for industry, research instrumentation and medical applications. Currently our focus is on solving the lack of dosimetry in brachythreapy for breast and prostate cancers. In adition, by performing real-time dosimetry we open the possibility for real-time dose correction, a long time feature aimend by radiotherapists and medical physicists. We are performing clinical trials with two european hospitals. The technology is expected to be available in the market late 2018.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

We are improving breast and prostate cancer treatments.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

At NU-RISE we are improving breast and prostate cancer treatments. One of the most used treatments for breast and prostate cancer is called brachytherapy, a treatment where the radioactive material is placed inside the patient's body close to the tumor using long needles. The problem is that, currently, these treatments are performed without proper quality assurance and quality control procedures. This can be solved by performing real-time dosimetry. However, measuring radiation dose inside the body is a technically very challenging task, that requires placing the dosimeter inside the patient. Typically, dosimetry in radiotherapy is mandatory but there’s no device in the market capable to perform dosimetry in these conditions. At NU-RISE we are about to solve this issue. In addition, we are now opening the possibility for real-time dose correction, something desired for many years by radiotherapists and medical physicists.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

We developed an innovative device which biggest feature is the use of a disposable probe so thin that it goes inside the body using the same needles used to the deploy of the radiation sources. This probe converts radiation into light which in turn is conducted through an optical fiber into the main control unit giving the correspondent dose value. Then, the dose measurements are integrated with treatment planning software for real-time dose corrections.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The technology has been under development since 2012 and the clinical validation was carried out at CHUC Hospital (Coimbra, Portugal). NU-RISE teamed with University of Aveiro, IPO-Porto Oncology Hospital, Hospital La Fe (Valencia, Spain) and University of Valencia for the ongoing trials with patients. The European medical device certification process is expected to be initiated in the 1st quarter of 2017. Our goal is to quickly solve the lack of dosimetry in breast and prostate brachytherapy. We aim to have the device in the market late 2018 (conservative projection). In a 2nd stage we will deliver the software for real time dose correction, that we aim to develop in partnership with University of Aveiro, University of Valencia and one of the keyplayers in radiation therapy. In a 3rd stage, we will deliver the full solution by bringing AR tech to these treatments, allowing doctors to perform more precise, efficient, secure and faster treatments. NU-RISE is a team of physicists and engineers with many years of experience in the development of radiation detectors, mainly in nuclear and high energy physics although always seeking for applications of the developed technologies in other fields, with some focus on medical field. After winning the Building Global Innovators (BGI) accelerator program by ISCTE (Lisbon) and MIT (Boston) and granting a 100 k€ investment by Caixa Capital, NU-RISE was founded in April 2015 by 3 physicists with the main goal of solving the lack of dosimetry (quality control and quality assurance) in breast and prostate brachytherapy. The team had limited experience in entrepreneurship and business management. Overcoming this issue was natural since BGI mentors and Caixa Capital investors played an essential role over the company existence. In addition, the founders had collaboration of several persons from economics and business management.