Quirem Medical

Developing the next-generation radioactive microsphere for treatment of liver tumors

Quirem Medical BV is a spin-off company of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) and commercializes, manufactures and distributes a new type of SIRT microspheres based on the isotope holmium, named QuiremSpheres®. QuiremSpheres® has received CE mark approval in April 2015 and is currently available in selected markets in Europe. Selective Internal Radiotherapy or SIRT is an efficacious treatment modality for advanced unresectable liver tumors. We believe that the unique imaging capabilities of holmium microspheres can further drive treatment outcome by tailoring the treatment to the patient.

Quirem Medical’s ambition is to provide a real-time, image guided, personalized SIRT treatment with improved patient outcome and to lower the hurdles for adoption of SIRT for the treatment of cancer.

As outpatient treatment, QuiremSpheres® are injected by a catheter in the liver artery and are transported by the blood flow to the tumor(s). QuiremSpheres® microspheres contain the radioactive isotope holmium-166, which is a high-energy beta-emitting isotope with gamma emission. The half-life of holmium-166 is 26.8 hours. The microspheres have a specific diameter of 30 micrometers, which causes the radioactive microspheres to lodge preferentially in the microvasculature surrounding the tumor, maximizing tumoricidal effects and minimizing the effects on healthy liver parenchyma. Following administration, over 90% of the radiation is delivered in 4 days.

Once the microspheres have reached the tumor they will emit their beta radiation and destroy tumor cells, while the low-energy gamma radiation passes through and out of the body and can be imaged by gamma-cameras. This unique property makes it possible to image the exact distribution of QuiremSpheres® microspheres inside the patient. Moreover, since the metal holmium can be seen on a MRI, also high-resolution images on both the distribution of QuiremSpheres® as well as the exact anatomical reference can be observed, resulting in detailed information about the dose that is given directly to the tumor tissue.

Quirem Medical was acquired by Terumo in 2020

Frank Nijsen
Jan Sigger
Startup activities

Pre-Seed Grant 2012
Value Voucher 2016

Quirem was acquired by Terumo