Start-up plans upcoming launch of nonmagnetic MR infusion pump

May 16, 2005

A totally nonmagnetic infusion pump designed to deliver medications and other fluids in an MR environment debuted May 9 at the annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. The MRidium enables patients to receive intravenous medications safely and continuously during MR scanning. It will sell for about $13,000. Its developer, IRadimed, has been cleared by the FDA to market the product, which is scheduled to begin shipping in June or July.

A totally nonmagnetic infusion pump designed to deliver medications and other fluids in an MR environment debuted May 9 at the annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. The MRidium enables patients to receive intravenous medications safely and continuously during MR scanning. It will sell for about $13,000. Its developer, IRadimed, has been cleared by the FDA to market the product, which is scheduled to begin shipping in June or July.

To support the launch, IRadimed plans to close soon on $1.5 million in private placement financing, money largely aimed at funding product manufacturing and marketing.

"We think we'll be generating revenue by July or August," said Roger Susi, the founder and president. "The business model has us cash flow-positive in a year."

The Winter Park, FL, company was established in 2004 specifically to market MRidium, which was funded initially with about $2 million of Susi's own money. Key to his success was development of an ultrasonic ceramic motor in 2002, which Susi calls the heart of the product.

"It doesn't have anything magnetic in it, and it doesn't generate any magnetic field when it runs," he said.

That took care of one part of the challenge. Another part was to make the system free from radiofrequency emissions.

"You can ruin the images if you have electronics leaking even just a little bit of electromagnetic interference," he said.

Once those roadblocks were overcome, IRadimed was on its way to addressing a longstanding dilemma: how to image patients who are on continuous infusion therapy. Currently, physicians get around the problem by tying patients receiving medication to long tubes whose pumps are located well away from the scanner.

The MRidium pump was designed to accommodate quick and easy transfer from existing infusion pumps. It does so via the MRidium MRI Bypass Infusion Set.

IRadimed hopes to sell about 100 systems during 2005. Sales may exceed more than 1000 units annually in the coming years, according to the company, with strong demand expected in the U.S. and Japan.

MRidium will be marketed to radiology managers and MR directors using a dozen or so independent direct sales representatives in the U.S. and dozens more in Europe and elsewhere.

Susi said the company plans to add a plug-on periscopic pump channel, a syringe pump option, and a wireless remote display. Competitors include Medrad and Medex, both of which offer IV products for use in MR suites.

Susi called MRidium a significant advancement that will greatly benefit both the radiology community and patients by enhancing safety, holding down cost, and maintaining image quality.

"We hope we've come up with a pump that looks and feels like a standard, familiar sort of pump you'd buy from one of the big suppliers," he said "We want the transition to our pump to be as simple as possible for users."