Israeli founded MedTech company INSIGHTEC, which develops and markets incisionless neurosurgery technologies, announced that it has received the first-ever national reimbursement and approval for focused ultrasound treatment for Parkinson's Disease. The reimbursement was awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), which is the government body that regulates medical device approval for Japan’s national healthcare.
According to a survey conducted by MHLW, which found that the progressive neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s Disease has seen an increase in known cases in recent years, with an incidence of 1 in 100 people over the age of 60 in Japan. This further shows that as modern healthcare technology keeps us alive longer, we will have to develop new innovation aimed at combating neurodegenerative diseases.
"Japan is the first country in the world to cover focused ultrasound for Parkinson's Disease with nationwide public health insurance," commented Maurice R. Ferré MD, INSIGHTEC CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. "This is a major milestone for patients with Parkinson's Disease across Japan."
INSIGHTEC’s FDA approved product, Exablate Neuro, provides an incisionless treatment by focusing ultrasound waves that pinpoint and target the exact defected location in the brain and are able to ablate tissue deep within it. The minimally invasive neurosurgery procedure provides the medical practitioners with a mission control like setting from within the MRI control room, where the scalpel is replaced with a mouse and advanced imaging provides a comprehensive in-depth view of the procedure.
"Parkinson's Disease patients now have a new incisionless surgical treatment option, focused ultrasound," commented Professor Takaomi Taira, Director of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosurgery, Tokyo Women's Medical University (TWMU), Tokyo, Japan. "Using focused ultrasound we can precisely target and treat the brain regions which contribute to improvements of the patient's symptoms."
Exablate Neuro is approved for targeting the thalamus for treating Tremor-dominant Parkinson's Disease, and the globus pallidum for treating advanced Parkinson's Disease in patients suffering from mobility, rigidity, or dyskinesia symptoms. Exablate Neuro has already been approved in Japan by the MHLW for the treatment essential tremor, with 12 medical institutes putting the MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment to standard use.
"This extended coverage by the National Health Insurance provides an incisionless treatment option for Parkinson's Disease patients," said Yair Bauer, Country Manager, INSIGHTEC Japan. "This adds to the existing coverage for treatment of tremor from essential tremor and Parkinson's Disease," he added.
INSIGHTEC is headquartered Haifa, Israel and Miami with offices in Dallas, Shanghai and Tokyo. The company was founded in 1999 by Vice Chairman of the Board Kobi Vortman, PhD.