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Augmenix Inc., Waltham, Mass.
Augmenix is developing a hydrogel product to temporarily position the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
Amar Sawhney, President & CEO
Brad Poff, GM
Jim Fortune, COO
Augmenix Inc., located in Waltham, Mass., is a medical device company formed in January 2008 specifically focused on developing in situ polymerized biomaterials to address unmet and underserved needs in radiation oncology. Augmenix’s first product, SpaceOAR System, is an injectable, degradable polyethylene glycol-based hydrogel that can be used to temporarily position the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy for prostate cancer. The SpaceOAR name conveys the creation of separation between organs at risk (OAR, a common radiotherapy term) and tumor targets. SpaceOAR Gel is an enabling technology for the current trends of hypofractionation, dose escalation and combination radiotherapy since it will greatly reduce current dose limiting morbidity in adjacent normal tissue.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-cutaneous cancer in men in the US and European Union with over 00,000 cases occurring in 200 resulting in over 00,000 deaths. Since most prostate cancers arise in the peripheral zone of the gland including that portion adjacent to the rectum, the radiation oncologist must expose the rectum to high levels of radiation if the tumor is to be effectively treated. The potential worldwide market for PROTEX Spacer Gel is in excess of $ 00MM worldwide. Current reimbursement codes exist that will allow for immediate payment for this device in the US and Europe.
The approach of displacing tumors away from organs at risk is also applicable to breast, pelvic, thoracic, soft tissue sarcoma, and head and neck cancer. Additionally, Augmenix is developing conformal absorbable marking systems which will define tumor resection sites and aid the physician in guiding treatment of suspected “unclean” tumor margins using external beam radiotherapy. This approach could be widely applicable for solid tumor resections with the potential market for breast lumpectomy alone in excess of $ 50MM. This approach is expected to shift the trends of intracavity radiation back in favor of external beam radiotherapy and to be widely applicable following a variety of solid tumor resections.