I have railed for years about the pathetic state of IO research, with the blame equally shared by the academic community publishing ad nauseum single institution retrospective series that do nothing to advance science or practice, and the unwillingness of the device industry to invest in prospective trials instead of marketing on 510K approvals with no data.
So I was completely blown away by a presentation from the senior leadership of Galil. What started as a small Israeli company marketing primarily to Urology has transformed itself into an IO company focused on the IR community. Galil has invested 25%-30% of revenues into R&D, so much so that it took until this year for the company to turn a profit. What they have accomplished is a model for the device industry.
Six new probes in as many years and the first system to combine cryoablation with cautery (with a nod to Neuwave for doing it the other way around), along with R&D projects on tankless technology and MRI compatibility. Far more important than the technical evolution has been Galil’s approach to clinical development. clinicaltrials.gov lists 15 trials using the Galil system, half company-sponsored. Every Galil trial is a multi-center controlled design. These include completed Phase1/2 studies and ongoing pivotal trials in lung (ECLIPSE, SOLSTICE) and bone (MOTION) run by current and former WCIO Scientific Chairs Matt Callstrom and Thierry de Baere, a renal registry (TRACE), and exploratory studies of pain control. In addition, they are building relationships with basic researchers to explore the cryo-induced immune response. If you are not impressed, look on clinicaltrials.gov for other company-sponsored ablation trials. Combined total from Neuwave, Endocare, and Covidien: ZERO.
Hats off to Galil for being model corporate citizen - and model for what every IO investigator should doing. Good science should beat good marketing every day.