Leuven (Belgium), September 21, 2017 - Terumo welcomes an important milestone for QuiremSpheres® in Belgium and in Europe. The decision to add QuiremSpheres® to the list of reimbursed radiopharmaceutical products in Belgium was published in the Belgian Official Gazette today. This will allow hospitals wishing to use QuiremSpheres® to treat patients with advanced unresectable liver cancer to be reimbursed as of 1 October 2017.
"The decision to reimburse QuiremSpheres® is very positive as it expands the available options to treat patients with advanced unresectable liver cancer," said Prof. Dr. Marc Peeters, Head of the Oncology Department, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) & Antwerp University (UA).
"The recent decision in Belgium represents a positive development for QuiremSpheres® and for SIRT treatment in Belgium, as access to this innovative technology for clinicians and patients will be facilitated," said Peter Coenen, President of Interventional systems Terumo EMEA. "We strongly believe that the unique imaging capabilities of QuiremSpheres® can be a game changer in the field of SIRT and this reimbursement decision is an important milestone towards realizing its full potential."
QuiremSpheres®, the next generation of SIRT microspheres, are the only commercially available microspheres that contain the radioactive isotope Holmium-166. Recent trials have shown the safety  and efficacy  of holmium microspheres for the treatment of advanced liver cancer.
Unlike current microspheres used for SIRT, QuiremSpheres® can be visualized in low concentrations by means of SPECT and MRI. This allows clinicians to assess quantitatively the distribution of microspheres in the liver, enabling accurate evaluation of treatment directly after the radio-embolization procedure.
Jan Sigger, CEO of Quirem Medical B.V., the manufacturer of QuiremSpheres®, said: "The decision of the Belgian authorities to fully reimburse QuiremSpheres® is consistent with the fact that our product uses the same mode of action and the same radiotherapeutic principles to target liver cancer as existing products on the market. Additionally, we believe that usage of QuiremSpheres® can further enhance treatment outcome by the unique possibility to visualize and quantify the intrahepatic dose distribution right after the SIRT procedure."
About Quirem Medical BV
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.
The recommended whole liver dose of 60Gy was identified as the maximum tolerated radiation dose in a phase I trial (no dose-limiting toxicity occured in the 60Gy cohort) Smits et al, Lancet Oncol. 2012, Oct;13(10):1025-34. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01031784
Study results have been published in PhD thesis of J.F. Prince; ISBN 978-90-393-6489-5; 2016. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01612325
Terumo (TSE: 4543) is a global leader in medical technology and has been committed to “Contributing to Society through Healthcare” for 100 years. Based in Tokyo and operating globally, Terumo employs more than 28,000 associates worldwide to provide innovative medical solutions in more than 160 countries and regions. The company started as a Japanese thermometer manufacturer, and has been supporting healthcare ever since. Now, its extensive business portfolio ranges from vascular intervention and cardio-surgical solutions, blood transfusion and cell therapy technology, to medical products essential for daily clinical practice such as transfusion systems, diabetes care, and peritoneal dialysis treatments. Terumo will further strive to be of value to patients, medical professionals, and society at large.