22 June 2023 | Thursday | News
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SENSEI is an ultra-miniature robotic gamma probe for intracavital use that is able to provide radiopharmaceutical-based surgical guidance ("radio-guided surgery") by enabling the intra-operative detection of cancer in real time. Telix's initial commercial objective is to align SENSEI with Telix's Illuccix®/TLX599-CDx programs for prostate cancer. Additionally, there is considerable scope to expand into other urologic and non-urologic malignancies. Lightpoint also has innovative capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) for surgical guidance that will complement Telix's own AI program.
This highly strategic and synergistic transaction broadly strengthens Telix's capabilities in deploying molecular imaging in the surgical setting. The acquisition will further enhance and differentiate Telix's innovation position and product depth in urology by enabling targeted radiation to be harnessed across the entire continuum of cancer patient care, from initial diagnosis and staging, to surgical intervention and therapeutic use.
SENSEI has attained a marketing authorisation in the United States, having been registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since September 2020. SENSEI has also attained a Conformité Européenne (CE) Mark for use in the European Economic Area (and other applicable countries) in January 2021 for intra-operative detection of sentinel lymph nodes and cancer metastasis via the lymphatic system, supporting broad clinical use of the product. The SENSEI probe is currently the only gamma probe validated for use with the Intuitive Surgical DaVinci® robotics system.
Telix initially established a strategic collaboration agreement with Lightpoint in August 2021 to jointly develop SENSEI with Telix's investigational PSMA-targeting SPECT imaging agent TLX599-CDx for prostate cancer. The Lightpoint SENSEI business will be integrated into Telix and operate as a new surgeon-focused business unit, driving the ongoing development of SENSEI combined with Telix's pharmaceutical pipeline. This new business unit will also support development of Telix's other related medical device and software technologies, such as Telix's recently acquired artificial intelligence platform.
In the U.S. alone, an estimated 288,300 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2023, with approximately one-third (96,100) receiving radical prostatectomy. At least 85 percent of these performed robotically. The use of molecular imaging in the operating theatre has the potential to drive a paradigm shift in the surgical treatment of cancer in terms of throughput and patient outcomes.
Dr Colin Hayward, Chief Medical Officer of Telix said, "PSMA-targeted imaging is transforming the detection of prostate cancer. With radio-guided surgery we can harness the targeting power of PSMA to precisely guide surgery and create a holistic 'PSMA toolkit' to detect, manage and treat this disease. This is in line with our vision to continue to innovate and partner with physicians at every step of the patient journey. Small, flexible gamma probes that can be used in the operative field while conducting robotic or laparoscopic surgery is a powerful innovation."
Dr Christian Behrenbruch, Managing Director and Group CEO of Telix said, "The transaction with Lightpoint brings a compelling commercial-stage asset to Telix that has the potential to transform the use of radiopharmaceuticals in the interventional setting, with commensurate impact on Telix's market share for Illuccix. This acquisition also brings a highly talented team to drive development of this asset and will leverage the commercial infrastructure we have built for Illuccix to further deepen our relationship with our customers."
Founder and CEO of Lightpoint Medical, Dr David Tuch said, "We are thrilled to be joining forces with Telix to propel the development of radio-guided surgery. This acquisition brings numerous benefits to our surgeon users including enhanced access to the SENSEI technology and a continuum of PSMA-based detection and treatment options. We look forward to working with Telix to shape the future of targeted cancer treatment."