BrainCool has signed a purchase agreement for IQool System with Vanderbilt Health in the US. The aim is to make the medical device available in the 74 hospitals that are part of that health system. BioStock talked to BrainCool’s CEO Martin Waleij about the agreement and its potential commercial benefits.
BrainCool has developed products for early and rapid cooling (hyperthermia) in the treatment of various medical conditions. The product BrainCool System, marketed as IQool System in the United States, has been developed for the treatment of stroke and sudden cardiac arrest.
CEO comments on agreement with Vanderbilt Health
BrainCool has signed a one-year purchase agreement for IQool System with Vanderbilt Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States. The organisation has 74 member hospitals and over 5600 clinics distributed over 47 of the country’s 50 states. BioStock talked to BrainCool’s CEO Martin Waleij about the agreement.
Martin, can you start by talking about the agreement with Vanderbilt and how it is structured?
– We have made an evaluation of IQool within Vanderbilt Healthcare, which has gone well. The agreement should be seen from the perspective that we want to move on from standard orders of two systems per order as we are a small company and a small supplier. Compared to the larger companies, a first order could be 4 or 8 systems. The goal is to be able to quickly gather more systems in one order to be able to deliver 10 – 20 systems. The goal is that we want to work faster to make IQool the priority product in the health system for the intended indication areas.
– A common outcome for a smaller company like BrainCool (compared to competitors) would have been a first order for two systems. Here we have reached a good way of moving forward. Instead of a longer agreement period, we have reached a solution where we will push for the product jointly and only for one year, especially in the southeastern United States.
You already have agreements with other purchasing organisations in the US. In what way does the agreement with Vanderbilt complement these?
– The agreement is primarily focused on the above-mentioned approximately 20 hospitals in the region, with a focus on growing within a significant health system. One can see the agreement with Vanderbilt as more of a one-time deal and less as a long-term arrangement. As the one that we have with the national American purchasing organisation GPO Healthtrust. One of the reasons why we have limited the agreement to one year is that we expect to be able to increase the price to customers as early as 2024.
Which markets will you address with this deal?
– IQool System addresses two main markets, both of which are supported by guidelines. These are the cooling of cardiac arrest (about 350k patients per year in the US) as well as the cooling segment of neurological fever (3 million patients per year).
– Neurological fever is defined as high, recurrent and difficult-to-treat fever where cold treatment often lasts for 5–10 days, in some cases longer.
– In neurological fever, advanced “surface cooling-TTM systems” are required, and simpler products are not able to break and control the fever. In addition, invasive intravascular systems that cool the blood with saline through a catheter are not an optimal procedure as it requires the constant presence of a doctor.
– There, BrainCool System has a clear advantage over the main competitor as we have the only system that can cool a patient for more than five days, which leads to a great economic advantage for the healthcare system. Competitors can only cool the patient for a maximum of five days. Our product thus becomes a more economically advantageous alternative (as a new disposable item must be used per patient).
What is the commercial focus of the agreement?
– Our primary focus is partly on Vanderbilt Medical’s hospitals in Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida. A total of about 20 hospitals. The goal is to establish 20 systems and that they will quickly reach the ongoing use of 20 treated patients per system and year. This would correspond to variable revenues of almost SEK 3 million per year with good margins.
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