Marvel Medtech of Verona, WI is detecting breast cancer early and with minimal invasiveness with their interventional MRI technology. The Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ray Harter, named the company Marvel, a tribute to his mother, who was a victim of breast cancer. Their technology allows for real-time MRI guidance resulting in increased accuracy for breast cancer detection, and has potential interventional capabilities across multiple soft-tissue based diseases.
Marvel Medtech, founded in 2002, has consistently worked towards the development of their MRI technology. “It’s been a very long process. I’ve been called stubborn, but I prefer the adjective persistent,” said Harter. “The window of opportunity for this interventional MRI is still open, and no one is yet to bring this sort of technology to practice.”
With funding from the National Cancer Institute, Marvel Medtech has worked in tandem with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota to develop a proof of concept prototype. Marvel Medtech also secured a micro-grant in 2005 through the CTC, then known as the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network.
In September 2012, Marvel Medtech received an SBIR Phase I grant for $300,000 with the help of a CTC/WEN consultant. “[The CTC] has been a good resource for making connections, both with state programs, with individuals who have expertise in the areas that needed help with, and overall guidance,” said Harter.
Currently, Marvel Medtech employs about six engineers and consultants who continue to develop the MRI technology. Marvel Medtech is also working with CTC staff on acquiring SBIR Phase II funding for initial clinical studies and commercialization efforts.
“As a result of doing all of this engineering work, we’ve identified other potential product areas for MRI interventional technology,” said Harter. “Once we prove that it works well for the breast application it opens up other avenues for clinical applications where MRI is the best option, and this could have a huge impact on the community at large.”