Mission and Vision
Francis Medical is a dynamic medical device company committed to developing urological cancer treatments that are tough on cancer, yet gentle on patients. Our work is fueled by a compassionate belief that cancer can be stopped with minimally invasive treatments. The company’s core values are Quality, Integrity, Innovation, Excellence, and Collaboration.
Using a new platform to treat endourological cancers, water vapor technology, we’re developing a device for treating prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in American men. Currently available prostate cancer treatments often result in life-altering side effects such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Water vapor technology is intended to result in minimal side effects, offering a distinct advantage over other treatments.
Francis Medical is named after Francis Hoey, the father of inventor and Francis Medical founder, Michael Hoey. In 1991, after undergoing prostate cancer treatments with debilitating effects on his daily living, Francis died from prostate cancer.
Today, the work of Francis Medical stands as a tribute to and a lasting legacy of Francis Hoey.
Our goal is to move quickly to expand the potential of cancer ablation by water vapor as a vital, minimally-invasive treatment for prostate cancer, as well as for kidney and bladder cancers. – CEO, Mike Kujak
The formation of Francis Medical Inc. in 2018 was personal for Michael Hoey, the company’s Founder and Chief Technology Officer.
From growing up on a farm in southern Minnesota, to teaching and researching urology disorders at the University of Minnesota, Michael has spent his life solving problems. When his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Michael was faced with a problem yet to be solved.
Francis, Michael’s father, eventually passed away from prostate cancer in 1991. Shortly after, Michael left the University of Minnesota to focus on the development of new thermal treatment technologies that could be applied 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 diseases and other urological conditions.
To develop and commercialize his innovative urology applications using the vapor platform technology, Michael co-founded NxThera in 2008.
NxThera used the convective water vapor energy technology to treat several different endourological conditions including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In 2015, the FDA cleared NxThera’s Rezūm system to treat BPH by delivering targeted, controlled doses of the stored thermal energy in water vapor directly to the region of the prostate gland with the obstructive tissue causing the lower urinary tract symptoms.
In 2018, NxThera was acquired by Boston Scientific for the treatment of BPH and other non-cancerous urological conditions. As a result of this transaction, a new company was formed to continue the pursuit of water vapor therapy in the treatment of urological cancers: Francis Medical.
In 2018, Michael Hoey teamed up with Mike Kujak, the former chief marketing officer and vice president of international sales at NxThera and current chief executive officer of Francis Medical, to set Francis Medical in motion.
In December 2018, Francis Medical completed an $18 million round of Series A financing led by Arboretum Ventures, with co-investments from H2Oey Ventures (an affiliate of Solas Bioventures Fund), Tonkawa, and Boston Scientific. (Read Press Release)
Early feasibility studies in Paraguay, Panama and the Dominican Republic helped establish the clinical foundation needed for this initial funding.
The funding will be used to further develop the transurethral treatment of prostate cancer through additional clinical studies outside the US and the completion of a US investigational device exemption (IDE) feasibility study. Francis Medical is also planning to develop cancer applications for treating bladder and kidney cancers.
Leading the Way
Helping fulfill the mission with passion and integrity.
A Unique Technology
“Water vapor is wet and does not dry out the tissue; this cues the immune system to almost completely resorb the treated tissue. No other technology does that.”
Michael Hoey, Founder and Chief Technology Officer