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TeesuVac is developing an effective biopsy gun that takes precise tissue samples from breast and prostate tissue when examining patients for cancer

It can be a time-consuming process to extract biopsies from e.g. breast tissue and at the same time an unpleasant procedure for the patients. Therefore, it is important that the process is done as quickly and accurately as possible, so that with as few insertions as possible, usable tissue samples are collected.

Each year, over 12 million new cases of cancer are found worldwide, this number is increasing and that number is expected to reach 24 million by 2030. Therefore, it will only be more important in the future to make faster and more accurate diagnoses so that patients can clarify their situation and get into treatment. Initially, it is TeesuVac’s focus to develop the equipment to take samples from breast tissue and then prostate, as these are areas where a lot of biopsies are being done and where methods are needed that are more effective.
Breast cancer is number one on the list of most common types of cancer in women, and more than four million women have biopsy tests for breast cancer annually. Approximately 1 in 8 women develop invasive breast cancer during the woman’s lifetime. Among women, the 5 most commonly diagnosed cancer sites are breast, colon, lung, cervix and stomach. For men, prostate cancer is second on the list, and more than three million men receive prostate cancer biopsy tests annually. Among men, the 5 most commonly diagnosed cancer sites are lung, prostate, colon, stomach and liver.

TeesuVac develops a series of biopsy guns in which the first biopsy gun is vacuum-assisted, which means that it uses vacuum to help the tissue into a tissue chamber before being cut. Evidently, it provides larger tissue samples, which is a major benefit to the pathologist in the work of analyzing the tissue samples. Unlike most other hand-held biopsy guns, vacuum is generated in the biopsy gun itself and therefore does not need to be connected to other equipment, giving the healthcare professional greater freedom of movement during the procedure. TeesuVac’s further development of the technology also has the advantage that the next biopsy gun will take multiple tissue samples in just one insertion. It is thus far less troublesome for patients, who with the current biopsy instruments have to go through far more insertions when the healthcare professional takes tissue samples. Unlike other handheld biopsy guns with this tissue removal technology, TeesuVac’s biopsy gun differs from others in the market by being a disposable gun. It must therefore be thrown out after use so that no time and effort is spent on cleaning. It eliminates the risk of transmitting bacteria from patient to patient.

In 2016, the needle-based biopsy instrument segment accounted for the largest share of the global biopsy equipment market by approx. 82%. This segment is expected to reach USD 2 billion in 2022 from USD 1.4 billion in 2017, corresponding to an annual growth of 7.1%. The breast biopsy segment is expected to reach USD 800 million in 2022 from USD 540 million in 2017, corresponding to an annual growth of 7.4%. The vacuum assisted breast biopsy segment contributed the largest share with estimated sales of USD 375 million and demand for this product technology is rising due to increasing preference for minimally invasive procedures.

What has been accomplished?
TeesuVac has developed the company’s first biopsy gun and has begun pilot production to produce documentation to be used for approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company will subsequently get the biopsy gun approved in Europe in cooperation with a notified body. In addition, the company has developed the basic technology for the company’s biopsy gun to take multiple tissue samples in just one insertion. TeesuVac’s product technology is based on five patents.

External investors

Vaekstfonden and a group of Business Angels.

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