The formation of NxThera, Inc. in 2008 was personal for Michael Hoey, the company’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. Michael’s medical research career began as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota where he had an academic appointment in physiology and served as an adjunct to the University of Minnesota Medical School doing research in urologic surgery. Michael also taught and did research in the University of Minnesota’s Cancer Center, the Institute of Technology and the Carlson School of Management. Michael’s research and teaching concentrated on understanding the interaction of thermal energy in tissue at the cellular and molecular levels, with a particular focus on prostate disorders.
From growing up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota, to teaching and researching urology disorders at the University of Minnesota, Michael spent his life solving problems. But when his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was faced with a problem, yet to be solved. Michael’s father eventually passed away from the disease, and Michael left the University of Minnesota shortly thereafter to focus on the development of new thermal treatment technologies, with application throughout the body, including the prostate.
In addition to his commitment to medical research, Michael has a life-long passion for designing and building race cars. These personal and professional passions converged while Michael was testing one of his high-performance race car engines. He recognized that vaporized fuel represented a tremendous level of stored thermal energy, and realized that this stored thermal energy could potentially be applied to various clinical applications when using sterile water vapor, including therapies to treat prostate and other urology conditions.
The NxThera team is developing multiple urologic applications using its Convective RF Water Vapor Thermal Therapy platform, with an initial focus on treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In August 2015, we received FDA 510(k) clearance for the Rezūm System to treat BPH and are preparing to expand global commercialization in 2016.
The team is also actively engaged in proving feasibility for the treatment of prostate cancer and kidney cancer.