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Treatment for Alzheimer's Parkinson's gets big boost: Ferre's Insightec receives $150M in funding



2014 Miami Herald photo by Carl Juste

By Jane Wooldridge / jwooldridge@miamiherald.com

Potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients just got a boost.

INSIGHTEC, a medical device company led by Miami’s Dr. Maurice Ferre, has received $150 million in funding from Koch Disruptive Technologies, a subsidiary of Koch Industries.

The money will enable INSIGHTEC to expand studies of its current FDA-cleared ultrasound device to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. The company currently is conducting a Phase 1 trial into Alzheimer’s treatments and beginning at Phase 3 trial in uses for Parkinson’s Disease.

The non-invasive device uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging and focused ultrasound to target specific tissues in a procedure called Exablate Neuro. It is now used for uncontrollable tremors, called essential tremor, at 40 medical centers worldwide, including two in South Florida. The underlying technology can also be used to treat uterine fibroids and bone cancer non-invasively.

INSIGHTEC is based in Israel, with U.S. offices in Miami. Ferre, a serial entrepreneur, co-founded MAKO Surgical Corp., a leader in robotic orthopedic surgery. His father, Maurice Ferre, was a long-time mayor of Miami.