Photocure Announces Mobile BLC Tower Initiative to Expand Access to Cysview in the U.S.

Published: 4 June 2024Product AnnouncementsOrganisational AnnouncementsPartnership News & Expansion

Press Release – Oslo, Norway, June 4, 2024: Photocure ASA (OSE: PHO), the Bladder Cancer Company, today announces that it has commenced activities to support a new initiative enabling U.S. Hospitals and Clinics to offer blue light cystoscopy (BLC®) using a mobile capital equipment model. The initiative is aligned with a recently executed agreement between Karl Storz and ForTec Medical, aimed at providing on-demand Saphira™ BLC equipment to hospitals in the U.S. leveraging ForTec’s utilization-driven mobile equipment business model.

The mobile tower opportunity is intended to increase access to BLC by reducing or eliminating the need for capital budget approvals and instead, enables hospitals to utilize operating budgets to bring the benefits of BLC with Cysview® to their physicians and patients. In some hospitals and clinics in the U.S., capital budget priorities have become a rate-limiting factor for purchasing and adopting Saphira™ equipment to improve TURBT* procedures and the management of patients with bladder cancer.

ForTec has initiated procedures in select territories with the 6 Saphira towers that it currently has in the field, and an expanded rollout of the program throughout the U.S. is anticipated to commence in the third quarter of 2024 with 12 additional Saphira towers that ForTec is preparing for deployment.

ForTec focuses on the urology treatment segment, and is equipped to provide real-time capital equipment from its warehouses across the U.S. With ForTec’s facility network located within 3 hours of >90% of all U.S. operating rooms, and its sales force covering the 48 contiguous states in the U.S., the mobile BLC tower opportunity has potential to significantly increase access and utilization of BLC with Cysview for TURBT procedures. In preparation for the national rollout, ForTec, Photocure, and Karl Storz will hold joint training and planning sessions among their commercial organizations.

Under the mobile tower business model, hospitals or physicians can contact ForTec to schedule cases. Once scheduled, ForTec will deliver the equipment the day before the procedure for proper set up and care. A ForTec technician is present during all surgical procedures. Once the procedures are completed for the day or rental period, ForTec will return the mobile tower to its local depot for servicing and quality control in advance of the next deployment. At any given point in the delivery of care, Photocure, Karl Storz and ForTec will collaborate to ensure seamless service. The per case business model has additional benefits such as roughly doubling the number of field-based account managers between Photocure and ForTec, marketing the use of BLC with Cysview to ForTec’s vast customer network, and ensuring that trained technicians, functioning equipment and parts are always available on-site.

“We are very pleased that the Saphira™ mobile tower program is planned for expansion and is expected nationally throughout the remainder of the year. In our discussions with customers, we saw that Urologists understood the clinical value of BLC with Cysview but in many cases, were limited by a lengthy capital equipment approval process. Additionally, this opportunity allows Photocure access to major hospital systems as ForTec has successfully contracted with national GPOs and opens the opportunity to expand the installed base of BLC throughout the United States. Photocure continues to work towards ensuring better access to quality bladder cancer care and this partnership demonstrates that we are implementing proactive strategies to improve that access,” says Geoff Coy, Vice President & General Manager North America at Photocure.

“Collectively all three organizations will be highly focused on driving utilization of BLC with Cysview through this mobile solution. Hospitals will be able to provide BLC with Cysview on a per-case-basis which allows the expense to fall within an operational budget instead of a capital budget. Once the hospital's capital budget frees up, hospitals may choose to acquire the Saphira™ tower permanently.”  Geoff Coy concludes.

For over 35 years, ForTec has been successfully providing mobile technologies to customers nationwide for urology and 10 other therapeutic areas. Hospitals and healthcare care professionals are able to take advantage of ForTec’s pay-per-use model to gain real-time access to groundbreaking technologies and premier service, without having to conduct an extensive capital budgeting evaluation,” said Patrick Filipovitz, CEO of ForTec. “With our mobile Saphira™ tower solution, we aim to expand the use of blue light cystoscopy by reducing the barriers for healthcare institutions to gain access to this cutting-edge equipment. In coordination with Karl Storz and Photocure, our highly trained sales professionals and technicians will support cases and ensure safe and proper operation of the equipment.

*TURBT: Transurethral resection of bladder tumor

Note to editors:

BLC, Hexvix and Cysview, trademarks mentioned in this release, are protected by law and are registered trademarks of Photocure ASA.
This press release may contain product details and information which are not valid, or a product is not accessible, in your country. Please be aware that Photocure does not take any responsibility for accessing such information which may not comply with any legal process, regulation, registration or usage in the country of your origin.

About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer ranks as the 8th most common cancer worldwide – the 5th most common in men – with 1 949 000 prevalent cases (5-year prevalence rate)1a, 614 000 new cases and more than 220 000 deaths in 2022.1b
Approx. 75% of all bladder cancer cases occur in men.1 It has a high recurrence rate with up to 61% in year one and up to 78% over five years.2 Bladder cancer has the highest lifetime treatment costs per patient of all cancers.3
Bladder cancer is a costly, potentially progressive disease for which patients have to undergo multiple cystoscopies due to the high risk of recurrence. There is an urgent need to improve both the diagnosis and the management of bladder cancer for the benefit of patients and healthcare systems alike. 
Bladder cancer is classified into two types, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), depending on the depth of invasion in the bladder wall. NMIBC remains in the inner layer of cells lining the bladder. These cancers are the most common (75%) of all BC cases and include the subtypes Ta, carcinoma in situ (CIS) and T1 lesions. In MIBC the cancer has grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall. These cancers, including subtypes T2, T3 and T4, are more likely to spread and are harder to treat.4

1 Globocan. a) 5-year prevalence / b) incidence/mortality by population. Available at:, accessed [February 2024].
2 Babjuk M, et al. Eur Urol. 2019; 76(5): 639-657
3 Sievert KD et al. World J Urol 2009;27:295–300
4 Bladder Cancer. American Cancer Society.

About Hexvix®/Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate HCl)

Hexvix/Cysview is a drug that preferentially accumulates in cancer cells in the bladder, making them glow bright pink during Blue Light Cystoscopy (BLC®). BLC with Hexvix/Cysview, compared to standard white light cystoscopy alone, improves the detection of tumors and leads to more complete resection, fewer residual tumors, and better management decisions.
Cysview is the tradename in the U.S. and Canada, Hexvix is the tradename in all other markets. Photocure is commercializing Cysview/Hexvix directly in the U.S. and Europe and has strategic partnerships for the commercialization of Hexvix/Cysview in China, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. Please refer to for further information on our commercial partners.

About Photocure ASA

Photocure: The Bladder Cancer Company delivers transformative solutions to improve the lives of bladder cancer patients. Our unique technology, making cancer cells glow bright pink, has led to better health outcomes for patients worldwide. Photocure is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: PHO). For more information, please visit us at,,

About KSEA

KARL STORZ Endoscopy America Inc. (KSEA) is a subsidiary of KARL STORZ headquartered in Tuttlingen Germany. a global manufacturer and distributor of endoscopes, medical instruments, and devices. Since its establishment, KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America has been responsible for all sales of endoscopes, instruments, imaging systems, electromechanical devices, and OR1™ integration solutions for the operating room. Based in El Segundo, California, this subsidiary maintains a reliable network, with employees ensuring customer care, product consultation, and sales in all US states.

About ForTec

ForTec Medical, an industry leader, is dedicated to improving patient health and healthcare by delivering innovative surgical technologies on demand. For more than 30 years, ForTec has provided mobile surgical technologists to hospitals, surgery centers and physician offices on an as-needed basis.

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