Francis MedicalFrancis Medical has developed the Vanquish System, a minimally invasive transurethral prostate ablation device that uses water vapor to kill cancer cells.
Founded in 2018 by Chief Technology Officer Michael Hoey, the medical device startup has raised $80 million, including a $55 million Series B round in September 2021.
Hoey’s father had prostate cancer, and after he died in 1991, Hoey set out to develop thermal treatment technologies.
Francis Medical’s technology is designed to use the energy stored in water to destroy cancerous tissue with a small, needle-shaped catheter in an outpatient procedure. Short bursts of hot water vapor cools and condenses inside the cancerous part of the prostate, transferring the heat to the cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
“The Vanquish System seeks to avoid the life-altering side effects of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction often associated with current prostate cancer therapies of surgery or radiation,” the company said.
Francis Medical said it completed an early feasibility study in 2021 and planned an IDE submission and pivotal clinical study launch this fall. The water vapor ablation technology is aimed at prostate cancer for now, with hopes to target kidney and bladder cancer in the future.