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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Werkmeister

Promaxo: Revolutionizing the MRI Industry

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) patient flow process has historically been highly inefficient. Physician offices rarely have MRI machines, as their price, size, and usability make physician ownership of MRIs impractical. Instead, doctors typically refer patients to imaging centers.

Promaxo, an Oakland, CA based, private imaging company, seeks to both streamline the patient MRI process - eliminating the need to go back and forth between the doctor and imaging center - and to allow physicians’ offices to offer MRI imaging and MRI-guided interventions. Promaxo’s systems are small form MRIs that can fit in physician offices and are priced to be attractive to such offices. The Promaxo System is the only MRI system under review with FDA with an intended use of a navigation and guidance system and provides access to the physician for needle-guided interventions for prostate cancer. Further, it is the only single-sided MR system to allow open access to the anatomy of interest. The single-sided open face design allows patients to be comfortably positioned outside the scanner, thereby eliminating concerns around claustrophobic patients being placed inside a tight enclosure.

“Promaxo leverages highly innovative MRI technology to capture state-of-the-art diagnostic images within the office space. The solution has the potential to completely overhaul the current standard-of-care in imaging. The combination of the team, technology, and significant opportunity underline an exciting and compelling path forward for Promaxo” - Michael Cole, PhD MBA, Managing Partner at Global Neurohealth Ventures and Assistant Clinical Professor at UC Berkeley.

Promaxo’s MRI system is designed to provide a shift in point of care such that high quality imaging and interventions can be brought directly to a specialist’s office instead of surgical suites and imaging centers. With remote screening capabilities and modernized workflows, steady robotic hands allow surgeons to repeatedly conduct precise surgical procedures while operating from anywhere. This allows patients to move forward with a personalized care plan that may or may not include treatment without experiencing long waiting periods or turnaround times. The Promaxo System is configured to work with conventional, existing robots, and the Company has started its own robot development program designed to best leverage the advantages offered by the system.

According to Promaxo’s CEO, Amit Vohra, “Promaxo’s system is equipped with pre-programmed and optimized pulse sequences making it very easy and efficient to use. Traditional multi-purpose MRI systems require operators to program a wide range of parameters to evaluate the scan, and as a result, the image quality varies across patients as well as across imaging centers.”

Promaxo’s MRI device was the first reviewed by FDA as a guidance device under a 510(k) application. The technology is covered by over 55 issued patents, and the Company has filed over 10 additional patent applications in 2020 including ones covering the MR system and its applications as well as its in-development robotic system.

Promaxo’s System was initially optimized for prostate imaging and image guided interventions of the prostate. To enable an expansion into a wider range of conditions and anatomies, including brain imaging for the purpose of triaging, screening, diagnosis and intervention for various brain conditions, the Company recently partnered with Martinos Center, an MRI imaging center at Mass General Hospital.

The Promaxo team recently incorporated the Promaxo subsidiary, neuro42, Inc., that is focused on development and commercialization of portable head/brain MRI for diagnosis and interventions of neurological conditions. The Company executed a worldwide, exclusive license to the technology from Dr. Larry Wald's lab at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging (MGH, Harvard). Promaxo was also recently approved by WIRB for an in-house IRB to perform MRI scans on 100 human subjects.

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